A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 08, 2017
Martha or Martha Washington Bridge (lower level of George Washington Bridge)

The George Washington Bridge connects New York City to New Jersey and was opened in 1931. A second (lower) level of the bridge was opened in 1962.

The upper level is sometimes called the “George” or “George Washington Bridge,” and the lower level the “Martha” or “Martha Washington Bridge,” after George Washington‘s wife, Martha Washington. The New York (NY) Post reported on April 28, 1961:

“The George Washington Bridge’s second level, now being completed, is referred to as the Martha Washington Bridge.”


Wikipedia: George Washington Bridge
The George Washington Bridge – known informally as the GW Bridge, the GWB, the GW, or the George – is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River between the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City and Fort Lee, New Jersey. As of 2016, the George Washington Bridge carried over 103 million vehicles per year, making it the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge. It is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bi-state government agency that operates several bridges, tunnels and airports, as well as marine seaports, and the PATH rapid transit system.
(...)
In 1946, two more lanes were created on the current upper level, widening it from the original six lanes. A second, lower deck, which had been anticipated in Ammann’s original plans, was approved by Lt. Col. Joseph R. McCammon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and opened to the public on August 29, 1962. The lower level, nicknamed “Martha” after George’s wife Martha Washington, increased the capacity of the bridge by 75 percent, and simultaneously made the George Washington Bridge the world’s only 14-lane suspension bridge.

Wikipedia: Martha Washington
Martha Washington (née Dandridge; June 13 [O.S. June 2] 1731– May 22, 1802) was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington is considered to be the first First Lady of the United States. During her lifetime she was often referred to as “Lady Washington”.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
28 April 1961, New York (NY) Post, “The Lyons Den” by Leonard Lyons, pg. 39, col. 3: 
The George Washington Bridge’s second level, now being completed, is referred to as the Martha Washington Bridge.

6 October 1967, Women’s Wear Daily (New York, NY), “Art. etc/” by Chauncey Howell, pg. 28, col. 1:
Sid Allen’s is just 2 minutes north of the George Washington Bridge—or the Martha Washington Bridge, depending on whether you cross over from Manhattan on the upper or lower levels of this engineering masterpiece.

4 July 1973, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Action Line,” pg. 7E, col. 6:
Few landmarks have commemorated the wives of famous men, although there was a move among the irreverent in New York some years ago to christen the second deck of the George Washington Bridge the Martha Washington.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
18 October 1981, The Herald Statesman (Yonkers, NY), pg. A7, col. 4:
In 1962, the lower level of the bridge was completed. That portion has been nicknamed the Martha Washington Bridge by many motorists.

24 October 1995, Daily News (New York, NY), “Happy 67, By George!” by Mila Andre, pg. 25:
Happy Birthday, George Washington Bridge!
(...)
By 1962, when a lower deck (referred to as Martha by some) was added, it became the world’s first 14-laner.

New Jersey Monthly
The George: The Martha
This is the fourth of five excerpts from “The George Washington Bridge: Poetry in Steel,” the new book by Michael Aaron Rockland. A new excerpt is posted here each week.

By Michael Aaron Rockland | | October 6, 2008
I had been working on this book for some time when, at a party, a friend asked, “Will you be including a chapter on ‘the Martha’?”

“The what?” I asked. I already knew that one of Fort Lee’s major streets, which leads to the bridge, is Martha Washington Way. I couldn’t imagine that this fact would be worth more than a brief mention.

My friend laughed. “You don’t know about ‘the Martha’?” he said, incredulous, and told me that when he was growing up in New Jersey the boys in his neighborhood would always refer to the Upper Level of the George Washington Bridge as “the George” and the Lower Level as “the Martha.” Another person at the party remembered distinctly the traffic reports that would say, “There’s a thirty-minute wait for the George, only ten for the Martha.” Traffic reports no longer say this. Perhaps “the George” and “the Martha” were judged to be sexist or otherwise not appropriate for radio or television.

Twitter
Traci Lawson‏
@tracilawson
Just learned that the lower level of the George Washington Bridge is called the Martha Washington!
4:54 PM - 22 Apr 2009

Twitter
Jim‏
@jimwindolf
In emails, Christie aides call the lower level of the George Washington Bridge “Martha,” a favorite joke of all New Jersey ten-year-olds.
9:18 AM - 9 Jan 2014

Twitter
ursalette 🗽‏
@Ursalette
Fact:  Many NYers call the upper level of George Washington Bridge “George,” & the lower level “Martha.” @docholly @fullofbalogna @Kalaax008
3:34 PM - 31 Jan 2014

Reddit—TIL (Today I Learned)
TIL that the lower level of New York City’s George Washington Bridge is nicknamed Martha, after Martha Washington. (en.wikipedia.org)
submitted September 4, 2017 by tripleicedespresso

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Wednesday, November 08, 2017 • Permalink