Zakim Bridge
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Zakim Bridge Song

Songs that make you smile!
Photo by Brian Corr
What's what - in order of their appearance in the song

Customs Tower falcons
Peregrine falcons nest in the clock tower of the historic Customs House, which is visible toward downtown from the bridge. These cliff-dwelling birds of prey use their 200-mph dive speed to catch pigeons and other city birds.

Old Ironsides
Nickname of the sailing ship U.S.S. Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, which was launched by the U.S. Navy in 1797. Its present-day home is the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Bunker Hill
A hill in Charlestown and the name of a fierce battle between the colonists and the British during the year-long Siege of Boston (1775-1776). Although the British technically won the battle because they took the hill, it was an important victory for confidence in the revolutionary cause because of the heavy casualties inflicted upon the British. The battle actually took place on nearby Breed’s Hill, but it is not known whether the predawn change of location was a strategic decision or a mistake. The towers of the Zakim Bridge are shaped like the Bunker Hill Monument, which is visible from the bridge. 

Lenny Zakim
Executive Director of the New England Office of the Anti-Defamation League until his death from bone cancer at age 46 in 1999. Lenny was a civil rights activist who worked tirelessly to build bridges between racial, ethnic, and cultural groups in Greater Boston. Two of the many programs he founded are the annual Black/Jewish Seder and the Team Harmony program, which brings prominent Boston athletes together with school children to teach them how people from different backgrounds can work together as a team.

Christian Menn
Swiss architect who created the original bridge design. Menn is known for his innovative use of pre-stressed concrete to extend the limits of technical and aesthetic design in his graceful European viaducts and bridges, such as the Sunniberg and Ganter bridges in Switzerland. 

Boston baked beans
A colonial favorite, made from white beans baked in molasses (plus a few other ingredients) for several hours.

The Garden
Boston Garden, the city’s beloved but aging sports arena, which stood near the bridge site from 1928 to 1995 – subsequently replaced by a brand new building that has undergone a string of names as banks bought and sold and merged and acquired rights to the name: The Fleet Center, The Shawmut Center, the TD Banknorth Garden, and the TD Garden. Many local Bostonians have gone back to calling it just “The Garden”.

bundled cables
Each of the bridge’s 116 cables is a bundle of 14 to 72 strands, the number depending upon the load the cable must carry (it varies depending upon its position in the bridge). Each 5/8” strand is itself a bundle of 7 steel wires, and can support 64,000 pounds. There are over 1800 miles of those steel wires bundled in all the cables!

The northernmost neighborhood of Boston, located across the Charles River from the rest of the city. Settled in 1628 (before Boston) it was the initial seat of government of colonial Massachusetts, becoming part of Boston in 1874. Two of its historic sites are the U.S.S. Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) and the Bunker Hill Monument.

A two-masted sailing ship.

The Charles
The Charles River, which flows between Boston on the south bank and Cambridge on the north bank.

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