ASTORIA — The Hell Gate Bridge is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, and a neighborhood group is asking residents to submit their best photos of the span as part of the ongoing centennial celebration.
The Hell Gate Centennial Committee, which formed last year to organize events around the anniversary, is hosting a photo contest from now through the fall to find the best images of the East River span, which opened in 1917.
Credit: DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly
The group hopes to eventually use the winning images in an exhibit somewhere in the neighborhood, and photographers can upload pictures and vote for their favorites online.
Organizers are also soliciting submissions for logo designs featuring the bridge that it can use on T-shirts, banners and other materials, while also asking residents to share their memories of the local landmark.
"They can give a story that means something to them," said Antonio Meloni, who heads the group and said his own family photo albums are filled with images of the bridge through the years.
He suspects many other Astoria residents can say the same.
"People used to take pictures down by Shore Boulevard all the time — the Hell Gate was always in the background," he said. "Looking back at pictures 40 years ago, there's the Hell Gate. It's kind of cool. The cars change, the dresses change, but everything else is the same."
About 10 images have been submitted to the contest so far, including shots of the bridge flanked by fireworks and sunsets. The winners will be announced in November.
The group is also planning a 5K race in honor of the Hell Gate's anniversary on Sept. 9, which will also include a 100-meter dash for kids and a "little ones" parade where children will don costumes and march through Astoria Park.