Historic American Engineering Record
Pittsburgh Bridges at the Point (PA-3, PA-4, PA-5)
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The Point Bridge II: 1927
As a result of such public agitation the County Department of Public Works began to study the situation and in due course the County Engineers, V. R. Covell, C. M. Reppert, and their associates completed a number of general designs for the bridge on the span lengths and clearances which the government has approved. (28) A committee of engineers then made a study of the several plans. Meanwhile funds for the new bridge were provided --a sum of $2,325,000 --in an Allegheny County people's bond issue and a discussion continued among City and County officials as to which plan should be adopted. A bridge at right-angles to the old bridge was considered but was rejected because approaches at either side would be too difficult. (29)
Finally plans for a bridge that would run parallel to the old bridge were approved by the County Commissioners. To avoid obstructions in the river channel a through-cantilever type of construction was adopted. The total length of the bridge was to be 1330 feet with approaches. The main span clearance for river traffic was 430 feet and the span supported as well a 38 foot roadway, allowing four lanes of traffic and two 12 foot sidewalks. (30)
A preliminary perspective sketch for the new bridge was published in the local architectural magazine, The Charette V:6 (June, 1925), frontispiece, and in the same magazine another sketch of the final design with a brief article appeared, V:10 (October, 1925), frontispiece. The design also carried the approval of the Pittsburgh Art Commission, who had recommended that the cantilever, in which both the top and bottom chords curve downward, should be given a convex outline to harmonize with the nearby Manchester Bridge.(31) The architect for the bridge was Stanley L. Roush. (32)
Work on the new bridge began in April, 1925, when Sprague and Henwood, core-drilling contractors started test borings to determine what foundation conditions would be encountered in the sinking of the two main piers. (33) In June, 1925 the contract for the piers and the approach; was awarded to the Dravo Construction Company of Pittsburgh for $591,195. (34) In December of the same year the contract for the steel superstructure was awarded to the Fort Pitt Bridge Works of Pittsburgh for $907,685. (35) The engineer in charge of design for the Department of Public Works was George S. Richardson. (36) Final working drawings for the bridge were completed in 5 September, 1925.
On 21 July, 1925, the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times reported that "the first caisson for one of the two river piers of the new Point Bridge was towed up the Ohio River from the Neville Island plant of the Dravo Construction Company to the bridge site. It will be filled with concrete and sunk in the river bed at the pier site, enabling workmen to construct the pier below water line. The laying of the substructure is to be completed by 1 June, 1926 and erection of the superstructure will start later."
In November it was reported that "the masonry of the new Point Bridge has just been completed by the Dravo Construction Company of Pittsburgh at a cost of about $657,000. Steel erection has been going on since early summer beginning on the north side where the masonry was first completed, and at the present time most of the steel work is in place. Fort Pitt Bridge Works is fabricating and erecting the superstructure. Present expectations are that the steel work will be finished in January 1927 and that the bridge will be open early next year." (37)
The construction of the superstructure was something of an engineering hybrid, that is, a cantilever arch-truss, with a suspended central span. The three primary elements comprising this type of construction are an anchor arm, cantilever arm and suspended span. The bridge is anchored in tension to the shore abutments and pivots about the river piers. The central span is hung from the arch construction which cantilevers out from each pier. The portals compared with the ornamental delicacies of those of the nearby Manchester Bridge were stark and brutal, being composed of unadorned steel plates, but nonetheless impressive. Technology was totally triumphed, having cast off all historical masks. The day of the adorned bridge portal has vanished.
On 20 June, 1927, the new bridge was opened to traffic in a ceremony in which some 2500 persons took part. The completed span was turned over to the people of Allegheny County by the Commissioners who accepted it from Norman F. Brown, the Director of Public Works. (38)
For a time the new bridge was sufficient for all traffic needs at the Point, but after 1945 with the development of the new Point Park scheme and the increasing motor traffic to the South Hills beyond the Monongahela, it became apparent that the days of the cantilever span were numbered and it too was closed in June 1959. Truly, the days of a modern highway bridge are as grass, but the last years and death of the Point Bridge are so intimately connected with those of its fellow Point span -- the Manchester Bridge -- that the two will be discussed together later.
The Union Bridge [Problems]
Meanwhile, we must return to the Union Bridge, the first of all the Point spans, that with its stolid wooden trusses and its ornamental Italianate portals was still doing duty at the turn of the century, albeit it also needed repairs after 25 years' service.
Unfortunately, from the very beginning there had been complaints about the bridge on the score of obstructing navigation on the Allegheny River. At low water the clearance height of the span was 37 to 40 feet, but at high water only 7 to 9 feet. (39) In 1902 the dissatisfaction became so acute that a petition was sent to the Secretary of War by persons, corporations, and companies in and about Pittsburgh -- "There can be no doubt that this bridge is an unreasonable obstruction to the free navigation of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers on account of insufficient height . . . We respectfully request that you will investigate this matter, having full confidence that after making such an investigation you will find it to be your duty to take action against its owners under provisions of
Section 18 of the River and Harbor Act approved 3 March, 1899. The Union Bridge is an old wooden structure and will soon need, in fact it already needs extensive repairs to make it safe for public use." (40)
The matter was referred by the Secretary of War to the proper officers of the Engineering Corps of the Army for examination and report. Under the date of 8 December, 1902, Captain Sibert, Captain of Engineers, who conducted the examination reported and recommended to the Chief of Engineers that the company be given notice to make alterations. On 16 December, 1902, the Chief of Engineers transmitted that report to the Secretary of War.
On 20 January, 1903, Mr. Root, then Secretary of War, issued notice to the company to alter the bridge, giving them 18 months in which to comply.
At the request of the company the time was extended by successor Secretary Taft to 1 December, 1904, and again extended by him to 1 January, 1905. Subsequently, a rehearing was requested by the company but was refused by Secretary Taft, who in his reply said that at the time the bridge was erected, the Army engineer in charge of the district, Colonel Merrill, publicly announced that the bridge was an obstruction to navigation.
Finally, the last court of appeal, the Supreme Court, ruled that the company must comply with the government order. Rather than alter the aging structure, the company decided to close and dismantle it. The date for the beginning of demolition on file at the Department of Public Works in Pittsburgh is 4 May, 1907. The Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph for 3 May, 1307, goes on to say that "The Dravo Construction company was the contract for dismantling the bridge . . . The bridge charter is now on the market (there is no record in the charter books at Harrisburg that it was ever sold). One million feet of timber are being removed -- principally white pine -- and it is in remarkably good condition. Within the next thirty days all timber will be down and then the work of taking down the piers and abutments will begin. If a new bridge is built it must be 72 feet above low water mark and have a channel span of not less than 100 feet."
Thus passed the archaic wooden bridge at the Point; it was essentially an artifact of early nineteenth century America and could not have endured much longer in any event. In old photographs its rough spans betray a curious stilted awkwardness, and for all the provincial sophistication of its "architectural" portals, it still looked crude, homespun and egregiously out of fashion. A "rugged individualist" bridge, built in a free-wheeling age by rugged individualists who took no account of navigable streams, it vanished because it could not survive in the twentieth century. But as a document of medieval industrial America, its history is instructive.
Unfortunately, the passing of the Union Bridge left its important and strategic site bridgeless and an increasing volume of traffic was thrown upon the bridges farther up the Allegheny -- the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Street bridges. Many former patrons of the bridge, especially baseball "fans" who had used it to reach the old Exposition Park on the North Side, watched its demolition with regret. (41) Despite the need of a new bridge, the fact that toll bridges over the rivers were rapidly becoming a thing of the past, made it very unlikely that any bridge company would buy the charter of the old Union Bridge. A new bridge would have to be built either by the City of PIttsburgh or Allegheny County.
Even before the old bridge was demolished there was talk of a new bridge -- "Many influential citizens of Pittsburgh and Allegheny are said to favor a bridge plan that was outlined by Director E. J. McIlvain, of the Department of Public Works of Allegheny . . . lt is proposed to build an immense bridge to span the Allegheny River from a point near the Exposition Buildings (on the Pittsburgh side) to Coleman Street with an elevated approach spanning the Baltimore and Ohio tracks and yards, Rebecca, Lacock, Ann, Robinson, and Kilbuck Streets, the approach to extend to Coleman Street by Monument Hill." (42)
The Manchester Bridge
A bridge on the same site, however, still seemed to be the most desirable because it would form a companion to the Point Bridge, and with proper integration of new with existing approaches at the Point, traffic moving between the North Side and the South Side could be handled with great ease. Also, with private bridge companies now obsolescent, it was conceded that the City would have to construct the new span. It would also have to be constructed of steel; not only was timber not a viable material for early twentieth century bridges, it had also become too expensive. (43)
Accordingly, at the general election of 3 November, 1908, the question of increasing the City's indebtedness in the amount of one million dollars was approved. In the early part of 1909 sixty thousand dollars worth of bonds were sold to cover the cost of preparing preliminary plans and this work was immediately begun. A contract was advertised in June 1910 and bids were received during June and July of that year for building the three main piers. (44) Before the contract could be awarded, however, a decree from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court nullified the bond issue of 1908. For the moment this effectively stopped work but in the election of 6 November, 1910, another bond issue was approved and the work went forward once more.
The bridge was designed under the direction of the Department of Public Works of the City of Pittsburgh with Joseph G. Armstrong as Director, and N. S. Sprague, Superintendent of the Bureau of Engineering of the Department, as superintendent of the work, assisted by T. J. Wilkerson of the Division of Bridges. Booth & Flinn, Ltd., of Pittsburgh, were the general contractors for whom M. J. Feeney was general superintendent. Emil Swensson was consulting engineer. (46)
In March 1911, bids were again advertised for the three main piers of the "North Side Point Bridge" at an estimated cost of $210,000. The lowest bid of $182,750 was submitted by Dravo Contracting Company and the contract was awarded to them in April of the same year. (47) These piers constructed of concrete faced with Beaver sandstone were completed by October, 1912. They were supposed to have been completed by January of that year, but an accident occurred in construction of the river pier which delayed the work. The final cost of the substructure (the piers) was $196,000. (48)
During the summer of 1912 bids were advertised and received for the two steel truss spans of the superstructure. On 16 August, 1912, the contract was awarded to the American Bridge Company at $297,792. Because of the delay on the substructure work could not be begun on the spans until 1 August 1912, and it was completed 5 November, 1913. The final cost for the two spans was $300,000. (49)
The superstructure consisted of two truss spans of the modified Baltimore type with subdivided panels, each 531 feet long, with a clearance of 70 feet above harbor pool level. The spans were heavy, being designed for a solid floor of buckle plates, concrete, and wood block paving. The roadway was 36 feet wide and flanked on each side by 12 foot sidewalks, making in all a 60 foot deck. (50)
During the summer of 1911 plans were started for the approaches. During the latter part of that year an Art Commission was appointed to deal on an aesthetic basis with the public works of the City of Pittsburgh and henceforth all bridge plans had to be submitted for approval. Late in 1911, also, the Commission had introduced into City Councils, ordinances authorizing the advertisement and submission of competitive plans for the approaches, and this acted to stop the work that the Department had been doing on this part of the project. It was not until 29 April, 1913, that the Department could once more continue with its own plans.
The work was advertised and the first bids were received on 15 July, 1913, but owing to the fact that all bids exceeded the amount of money available for the construction, they were rejected. The plans were then revised and bids were re-advertised. Bids on the revised plans were received on 3 November, 1913, and the contract was awarded 23 December, 1913, to Booth & Flinn, Ltd., of Pittsburgh. Construction was begun 9 January, 1914. Plans were then begun for paving the main spans and approaches and the contract was awarded 30 December, 1914. Work was begun on the paving early in 1915 and completed during the first half of that year. (52)
The north approach consisted of a series of 6 reinforced concrete arches of varying spans and a long fill between concrete retaining walls -- the total length of the approach being about 865 feet. The clear spans of the arches were 85 feet; 73 feet, 6 inches; 63 feet, 5 inches; 54 feet, 8 inches; 47 feet; 40 feet, 4 inches, the longest span being adjacent to the 531 foot river span. The arches rested on concrete pile foundations. The retaining wall construction had a length of about 442 feet and the entire approach was on a 4.9383 per cent grade. (53)
The south approach at the Point had a total length of about 913 feet and consisted of two concrete arches with clear spans of 73 feet, 6 inches and 85 feet, together with 728 feet of retaining wall construction on about a 5 per cent grade. Since this approach joined the already existing ramp of the Point Bridge, the combination resulted in a Y, one arm of which branched to cross the Monongahela and the other the Allegheny, an echo, perhaps, of the old tri-partite bridge schemes of the nineteenth century. (54)
Finally the Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph reported on 9 August, 1915, that -- "As a climax to almost 7 years effort, balked at several instances by legal procedure, the new $1,000,000 Point Bridge leading from the Point district over the mouth of the Allegheny River was dedicated at 2 o'clock this afternoon, Mayor Joseph G. Armstrong christening the structure Manchester Bridge. (55) Speeches were made by the Mayor, John M. Goehring, President of City Council, and Attorney Charles W. Dahlinger. (56) The North Side, particularly the old Manchester section, was in gala attire for the occasion, the actual dedication ceremony taking place at the north end of the bridge."
Not only did the opening of an important bridge become an occasion of public rejoicing in the earlier years of this century -- rejoicing with banners, processions, and speeches -- but the portals of the bridge itself-the entrances and exits -- were still accounted worthy of some architectural accentuation and commemoration. Our present day, which is not one of ceremonies and respects, will have none of this "superfluous" adornment. A bridge is a bridge, its passage is not memorable, its gate is not glorious, nor is its terminus splendid. But responsible citizens in the teens of our century still felt that art should be called upon to bless the rigors of the new technology and ratify municipal pride. Art was accordingly called upon.
This was also the age of the City Beautiful, the last grand-flowering of the Renaissance-Baroque ideal of city planning. This ideal had no small part in the formation of Pittsburgh's Municipal Art Commission in 1911 and for the term of its existence it was to be dominated mostly by Classical ideas of Beauty and Order. As we have already seen, it took its duty very seriously in regard to the Manchester Bridge.
When the bridge was dedicated it was still naked of any ornamental adornment. As we have already seen, bridges at the "historic" Point were considered worthy of special recognition. The first Point Bridge, in itself a kind of early technological cathedral, possessed great quasi-Egyptian pylons as anchor piers, between which traffic moved. The homely wooden tunnel of the Union Bridge had vernacular Italianate wooden architectural screens at both portal -- portals which imitated stone.
The Manchester Bridge had been originally designed to incorporate stone portals, but they were never constructed. Perhaps the best account of the bridge portals is contained in a magazine article of the time (57) -- "Highly sculptured ornamental portals are to be added to the North Side Point Bridge, Pittsburgh, at a cost of about $60,000. Stone archway portals were designed, but for various reasons, principally that of cost, they were abandoned. New plans are the result of a year's study by the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works in cooperation with the Municipal Art Commission. General plans were shaped mainly by Stanley L. Roush, architect, in collaboration with the sculptor selected for the work, Charles Keck, of New York City.
Several drawings and a photograph of a small scale model are reproduced here. (59) The steel portals to which the ornamental work will be fixed is already in place, being part of the original design. Although the bridge is of the regular curved-chord type with inclined end posts, a vertical portal was provided at each end with posts footing over the end pins; and the top lateral system was extended out to this portal in order to deliver the wind shear to it. This steel gate was to have formed the core of the ornamental stone portal and the designers held the view that by actually transferring the wind forces to the plane of the vertical portal, the stone portal would place true emphasis on a structurally vital element, namely that which secures the stability of the bridges.
"The stone portal would have concealed the steel portal, but the new cast iron, steel and bronze design utilizes the general outline and appearance of the steel portal with the addition of surface ornamentation. 'It was the idea', states the architect, 'to evolve an ornamental portal which would harmonize with the steel structure, all needed members to be shown, and the ornamental parts made subordinate to them.' In the evolution of the design, sketches of various possible portals were prepared by the Department and submitted to the Art Commission and the latter selected the design that promised the best result.
"More extensive drawings were then made and development of the main ornamental elements was elaborated in conference with the sculptor and a half-inch scale model was constructed. When the Art Commission passed on the model . . . construction contracts were let. A further process will be to prepare quarter-size models for final criticism and revision and then full-sized models for the foundry.
"The Cost of the two portals will be $4,000 and changes in the steel work of the portals about $5,000 more."
The ornamental portals were finally affixed in 1917. (60) On the Pittsburgh side are shown kneeling on either side of the Arms of the City of Pittsburgh, Christopher Gist, the pioneer, and Guyasuta, a local Indian chief. The Northside portal had a coal miner and a mill worker on either side of the same municipal escutcheon. On the upright of each portal were fixed ornamental lighting fixtures and flag staffs. The flag poles were removed some years ago, but the lighting fixtures and other cast iron ornaments are, since the demolition of the bridge in 1970, in the possession of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. The bronze reliefs are now in storage, later to be affixed to the north pier of the bridge which is to be retained for that purpose. (61)
The Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne Bridges
For a number of years the second Point Bridge and the Manchester Bridge continued to carry an ever increasing volume of traffic, but as the 1930's merged into the '40s, the sloping banks of the river that converged on the Point were transformed into elaborate modern highways. New and larger bridges would certainly be needed. But traffic was not the only reason why the old spans would have to go. The so-called Pittsburgh Renaissance with its large scale plans for the Point area was the prime mover in their vanishment.
A group of prominent Pittsburgh men, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, established the Point Park Commission in 1945. In the same year the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association, under the leadership of R. K. Mellon, authorized Charles M. Stotz and Ralph E. Griswold, to make a study of the lower triangle area that was to establish the essential features of the park. Their plans, refined through subsequent studies over intervening years in association with the firm of Clark and Rapuano, were incorporated in plans and specifications prepared for the General State Authority by Charles M. and Edward Stotz, in association with Griswold, Winters and Swain, landscape architects.
After the land was cleared of the tangle of commercial installations and decaying buildings, the park work was carried out between 1963 and 1968. Also planned was a great new highway that bisected the park, and to provide the necessary traffic interchanges, the bridges at the Point had to be removed and new ones built 900 feet upstream. The chief reason for this change was an aesthetic one, a "monumental" treatment of the Point itself which was to include a great fountain jet at the confluence of the rivers. (62)
Once the new plans were determined, it was merely a matter of finding a time when the "old" bridges could be most expeditiously demolished. The new spans have no real part in this chronicle, but it will be necessary to mention them to the degree that they played a part in the last days of the Point and Manchester Bridges.
The Fort Pitt Bridge across the Monongahela was opened on 19 June, 1959 and accordingly the Point Bridge was closed on 21 June of the same year. (63) The Fort Duquesne Bridge over the Allegheny was completed not long afterward, but it could not be used for some years because it could not be connected with the ramps of the uncompleted highway system on the North Side. It was referred to locally as the "Bridge to Nowhere". Consequently the Manchester Bridge remained open until 1969. It is interesting that both these doubledeck bridges were designed by George S. Richardson, of Richardson, Gordon and Associates, the engineer who had a prominent part in the design of the second Point bridge. (64)
Meanwhile the closed Point Bridge was exciting considerable controversy. In 1962, bids were opened for the demolition of the bridge. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of 28 March, stated that: "The County appraised that it will cost $391,589 . . . The County is in the position of being responsible for the demolition . . . because it still owned the bridges when the Fort Pitt Bridge and Tunnels were built, although it was stated to be turned over to the State eventually. On the other hand the State had already taken over the Manchester Bridge from the City when the Fort Duquesne Bridge was planned, so the State will finance the demolition of the Manchester Bridge." However, none of the bids were taken up and the demolition was left in abeyance.
Suggestions were made that the bridge be moved and relocated. The Emsworth Business Men's Association proposed that it be floated down the Ohio and relocated so that it could act as a river crossing between neville Island and Ohio river Boulevard. (65) Director Duff of the County Works Department said the truss was too tall to be gotten under the Ohio River bridges. (66) Again, Robert Cummings, Jr., an independent engineer, proposed that it could be floated up the Monongahela to a point near the Glenwood Bridge to be part of a proposed connecting link with the Parkway West. (67) This suggestion proved equally unfeasible.
Traffic congestion at certain times began to be a problem on the Fort Pitt Bridge not long after it opened. The Pittsburgh Motor Club in 1964 tried to get the Point Bridge reopened. (68) But after much controversy the County Commissioners decided not to reopen the bridge, after traffic experts said that opening it might worsen rather than ease the congestion at the Point. (69)
Last minute attempts, as is usual in such cases, were made to "save" both bridges. New uses were suggested, (70) but the truth was the future of the Point had been decided 25 years before and the decision concerning the bridges was now irreversible.The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, not long after its establishment in 1964, had already looked into the matter but deemed it useless to pursue it further.
To complicate the issue, the question was who was going to pay for the demolition of the Point Bridge -- the County or the State -- was bruited about for several years, but to tell the complete story would be tedious and unrewarding. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on 8 January, 1969, that the cost of razing the Point Bridge was now $600,000, $200,000 more than in 1962 when bids were first taken and rejected. The General State Authority, which funded the Park project, agreed to pay for the removal of the bridge ramps. (71) Fred de Pasquale, assistant district engineer for the State Highway Department, said that the State would handle the demolition of the Point Bridge but that the County would have to pay for it. It was cheaper to demolish both bridges at once.
Finally an agreement was reached and the State awarded a demolition contract to the Dravo Corporation for $2,600,000 on31 October, 1969; the subcontract for the razing of the steel superstructures was given to the American Bridge Company on 8 December, 1969. (73) Thus two companies that had been participants in the birth of the two bridges were, in a sense, in at their death.
The Pittsburgh Press reported on 9 November, 1969, that -- "Work on the long awaited one-year $2,600,000 demolition of the Point and Manchester Bridges will get underway on 13 November with the North Side approach to go first to make way for the Stadium roadways. Next to go will be the ramps on the Pittsburgh side to permit the final development of Point Park. The bridges themselves won't be demolished until May , 1970, because the U. S. Coast Guard restricts such work in winter."
Accordingly, the demolition of the Point Bridge as begun early in the summer of 1970.The dismantling of the great truss span was begun from the center by a large crane mounted on a barge and the removal followed a kind of reverse cantilever method. (73) George Richardson told the writer that in order to allow for such a method of demolition the suspended span of the cantilever arms had to be firmly pinned-- thus making the whole structure a continuous truss for demolition's sake -- otherwise the center span would have fallen into the river. By the end of the summer nothing was left of the great bridge.
Then came the turn of the Manchester Bridge. After demolition crews had removed the deck, railings, and fittings from the south span, explosive charges were placed strategically among the trusses on 30 September, but when they were detonated the span still stood firm. (74) A second attempt was made 11 hours later and this time the span fell into the river from whence it was later removed by barges. On 28 October, the north span was razed by the same method. (75)
So ended the story of the bridges at the Point.Should they have been preserved? The writer is inclined to think so. Certainly the Manchester Bridge could have provided a sorely needed pedestrian access to the new Three Rivers Stadium on the North Side. Now the spans have vanished, and the Point innocent of traffic encumbrances and still lacking its great fountain jet, thrusts its historic and immemorial length into the waters flowing always to the west.
The South Twenty-Second or Brady Street Bridge
The South Twenty-Second or Brady Street Bridge across the Monongahela River is included in this study because its impending demolition makes it imperative that some record be made of its history and construction. Also it is important to Pittsburgh because it was the second bridge owned by the city, (76) as well as the first toll-free river bridge in the area. As far as its construction is concerned, the steel superstructure, although it resembles the inverse cantilever construction of Point Bridge II, is in reality a continuous truss and thus unusual in its day. (77)
The bridge is thus alternately known because it was built to connect the mouth of Brady Street on the Pittsbrugh side with the South Side's South Twenty-Second Street. (78) The north bank of the Monongahela from the Triangle up the river for some distance consists of a relatively flat and very narrow "bench" overhung by steep hills and bluffs. About two miles from the Point, a narrow ravine -- the valley once drained by Soho Run (79) -- bisects these hills torturously. Here in the early nineteenth century a small suburban settlement known as Soho grew up, which as the city overtook it, became an area of heavy industry and workers' housing. Here two of Pittsburgh's important arterial streets, Fifth and Forbes moved close to each other, connected at the ravine by Brady Street.
The south bank of the Monongahela, which is quite narrow for a short distance above the Point, gradually widens out into a wide alluvial plain which probably reaches its greatest extent at South Twenty-Second Street. This area, which had formerly comprised the boroughs of Birmingham and East Birmingham, became part of teh City of Pittsburgh in 1868. Like Soho, the South Side was heavily industrialized (common to both districts were the plants of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation) but it had much other commercial and mercantile activity, as well as a large middle-class residential population. (80)
Until 1896 the whole South Side was served by only one bridge -- that erected at South Tenth Street -- which was a covered timber span. It had, like other Pittsburgh bridges of the period, been constructed by a private company that charged tolls. (81) The citizens of the South Side, since it had become a part of the city, had been agitating not only for a new bridge farther up the river but also for toll-free bridges. The Brady Street Bridge was to meet both those requirements.
Prior to the construction of the Brady span, a ferry owned by Captain Harger, of Soho, had provided transportation betwen the north and south banks of the river. His ferry boat was called the "Josephine", and in 1896, still in good condition, it was moored below the new bridge. Captain Harger had owned the ferry franchise, which had to be purchased from him by the city before the bridge could be built. (82)
The Engineering News reported on 1 February, 1894, that "Plans have been prepared for a free bridge at 22nd Street for the South Side. It is expected that the plans will be approved this week and the construction commenced as soon as the necessary authority has been secured from the Congress." On 12 April, 1894, the same source declared that "The Director of Public Works will soon ask for bids on the South 22nd Street Bridge." On 19 April, 1894, "Both branches of Councils have voted to authorize an issue of $1,500,000 of 30 years 4% bonds for erection of a free bridge." On 10 May, "The Council has ordered construction of the bridge." On 17 May, "The Director of Public Works is reported as stating that bids for construction . . . will be received as soon as the plans have been approved by the Secretary of War." (83)
Again the News reported on 6 September, 1894, that -- "The contract on the South 22nd Street Bridge will be awarded as soon as some minor details in the plans have been changed." On 15 November, 1894, "Bids are asked until 24 November for the erection of a steel bridge over the Monongahela River . . . E. M. Bigelow, Director of Public Works." (84) On 29 November, "The following bids have been received for the 22nd Street Bridge:
Pittsburgh Bridge Company, Pittsburgh . . . . . . . . . $570,000
King Bridge Company, Cleveland . . . . . . . . . . . . . $435,000
Penn Bridge Company, Beaver Falls, Pa . . . . . . . . . $454,000
Edgemoor Bridge Company, Edgemoor, Del . . . . . . . . . $876,000
Groton Bridge & Mfg. Company, Groton, N.Y. . . . . . . . $435,000
Masillon Bridge Company, Masillon, Ohio . . . . . . $473,000
Schultz Bridge & Iron Company, Pittsburgh . . . . . $399,750 (85)
The Schultz Bridge & Iron Company, who were the lowest bidders, were awarded the contract. The Pittsburgh Bulletin for 1 December, 1894, published a drawing with the caption -- "Drawing of the new free bridge to be built over the Monongahela River at Soho by the Schultz Bridge and Iron Company, drawn by W. G. Walter." (86)
One of the organizers of the Schultz Bridge and Iron Company was Albert Louis Schultz (1851-19??) who was president, general manager and chief engineer of the corporation, until it was absorbed by the American Bridge Company. One source (87) credits Schultz with the design of the bridge, but it is difficult to give complete credence to this statement because there is no supporting documentation. Schultz was undoubtedly a competent bridge engineer who received his engineering education in Berlin. He returned to Pittsburgh after his graduation in 1874 and entered the employ of the Iron City Bridge Company as designer, until he formed his own company. Apparently the plans were prepared in the engineering division of the Department of Public Works before Schultz's company received the contract, but to what degree he may have been consulted either before or after the fact is at present obscure. (88)
The Engineering News reported again on 27 June, 1895 -- "A correspondent writes us that the new 22nd Street Bridge will be the first of a series of free bridges. The Schultz Bridge Company has the contract for the entire structure and the Keystone Bridge Company will build the channel span. Drake, Stratton and Company have the contract for the foundations. The channel piers rest on a timber grillage 30 x 66 feet made up of 8 courses of 12 x 12 inch pine spiked together with square spikes . . . This was surmounted by a crib or box in which piers were built. The bottom of the river was dredged out to a depth of about 10 feet. The timber rests on gravel." (89)
This work should have begun in December of 1894, but the severe winter weather made it necessary to delay operations until March, 1886, when ground was broken for the north abutment which was finished on 4 July. The masonry on the river piers was begun as soon as the river was free of ice, and it was completed on 15 August. The main span was constructed on floats moored on the river bank and the superstructure was swung into position on 24 November. The iron work was completed on 6 December. The ornamental work and paving were finished by 1 February, 1896. (90)
The opening of the bridge on 25 March, was an occasion of great municipal rejoicing, particularly for the South Side. The Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph reported on 27 February, 1896, that: "The people of the South Side are making great preparations for the opening of the free bridge on 25 March. A committee has formed to prepare a design for a medal which will be sold on the day of celebration." The same paper on 6 March reported that: "The dedication arrangements are practically completed." The Pittsburgh Press on Sunday morning, 22 March, 1896, ran a special section on the South Side and the coming opening of the bridge.
Among the advertisements for this section appears one for Bernardi's, a department or dry good store at 12th and Carson Streets: "All this week a beautiful souvenir free! With every purchase of goods, to the amount of one dollar or more, a souvenir will be given, a handsome plate with a picture of the new 22nd Street Bridge -- something suitable to put on a mantel in any room."
It would be interesting to know if the souvenir medal was ever struck or if any of the souvenir plates have survived.
The Pittsburgh Press of 25 March, 1896, gave a very full account of the opening ceremonies and the procession that filed across the bridge and then down Carson Street: "Business was practically suspended on the South Side this morning by the different mercantile houses along the route of the inauguration ceremonies incidental to the opening of the new bridge. From daylight merchants spent hours decorating the buildings that lined the route of the parade. Carson Street from South 12th to South 22nd Streets was a mass of waving flags and tri-colored bunting which was draped in artistic festoons on the building fronts. Many businesses also had flags and banners stretched across the streets. in the throng, men were selling badges as well as books describing the bridge."
The Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph of 25 March, 1896, described the bridge as follows: "The new bridge begins at a point on Forbes Street at Brady and follows the center line of Brady Street to Second Avenue, thence westwardly to a pier on the shore, thence across the Monongahela River in a direct line to Wharton Street, South Side, about 50 feet east of South Twenty-Second Street. The length of the bridge proper is 2,250 feet, the length, including the steel viaduct approaches is 2,530 feet." The north viaduct approach starting at the north abutment at Forbes Avenue is 837 feet long and the south 350 long; they are composed of plate girders and riveted lattice girder spans from 30 to 85 feet long upon steel columns. The channel span is a bow-string truss of 520 foot span. The flanking span at each end of the channel span is 260 feet long. These are modified Pratt trusses with riveted web members and eye-bars for the bottom chords. (91)
Tyrell in his History of Bridge Engineering gives a slightly different description of the superstructure -- "The central 520 foot span consists of a pair of 3-hinged arch trusses -- of the Bonn type, 60 feet deep at the ends and 30 feet at the center with a lower chord rise of 44 feet. At each side of the center is a 260 foot span connected by false members with the larger span, the upper outline resembling somewhat the Northfield cantilevers. Trusses are 32 feet on center giving space for 2 lines of car tracks, a paved road of concrete on trough floor. The 8 foot walks at each side have asphalt over concrete and buckle plates. (92)
White and von Bernewitz in the Bridges of Pittsburgh have given an erroneous description of the superstructure as "a through cantilever highway and street car bridge. Both top and bottom chords curve downward." (93) George Richardson told the writer that the engineer, Marcel Fertig, examined the bridge for the State in the 1960's and found that the channel span was a continuous truss.
Soon after the bridge was completed, cracks developed in the masonry of the piers and efforts to strengthen them and support them were without success. The upstream end of the north pier settled until the bridge had dropped 16 inches and was thrown out of line 11 inches. In 1909 a contract was awarded to the Dravo Contracting Company to rebuild the piers and a sub-contract was placed with the John Eichleay Company to raise the bridge, so that the old piers could be taken down and new piers constructed. (94)
For many years the Brady Street Bridge gave good service, but in the 1960s the inevitable aging and the increase in traffic caught up with it. In 1963, trolley cars were forbidden to use the bridge because of movements in the floor system causing track displacement.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation acquired the bridge in 1962. In 1964, a consulting engineering firm submitted a location study for a new bridge. The bridge project was put on the Departments 6-year capital improvement program in 1967. (95)
Because of deterioration the bridge was closed for repairs in September, 1968, the Conn Construction Company having been awarded a $435,000 contract in April, 1968. The span was re-opened again in October, 1969. Meanwhile the concrete piers for the new bridge were being constructed on the down-river side of the old span. (96)
However, at the moment of writing, the City of Pittsburgh is short of funds and does not want to pay for its share of a large interchange in Soho. Because of indecision on the part of City officials, work on the new bridge has been stopped for almost a year. (97) One official has said that perhaps a new Brady Street Bridge is not needed.
What is needed nowadays? The answer is far to seek. The giant concrete piers dow-river seem merely to mock the motorist who now traverses the aging span, but if the motorist looks up he can take some comfort in the beauty of the old pride of the engineers. Whatever we need, one thing is certain: we have lost the assurance and the joy of those who celebrated on 25 March, 1896, the majesty and freedom of the bridge.
1. J. N. Boucher, A Century and a Half of Pittsburgh (New York,1908), II, p. 387. See also C. W. Dahlinger, Pittsburgh, Sketches of its Early Social Life (New York, 1916), pp. 29-30.
2. The route of Jones' Ferry appears on the McGowan map of Pittsburgh of 1852, together with other ferry routes plying the local rivers.
3. Richard S. Allen, Covered Bridges of the Middle Atlantic States (Brattleboro, Vermont, l959), pp. 75-76.
4. Lewis Wernwag (1769-1843) was perhaps the most famous of all early American bridge engineers. Born in Germany, he came to the United States at the age of 17, settling in Philadephia. He specialized in wooden truss bridges, his first famous work being a bridge of a single span constructed in 1812 over the Sckuylkill at Philadelphia. See biographical notice in the Dictionary of American Biography, X, pt. 2, pp. 2-3.
5. Joseph White, and M. W. Von Bernewitz, The Bridges of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, 1928), p. 32.
6. D. B. Steinman, The Builder of the Bridge: The Story of John Roebling and His Son (New York, 1945), pp. 80-86.
7. This sandbar which was of sufficient extent that grain would be grown on it at low water, appears on the very early maps of Pittsburgh. Smokey and Kilbuck Islands, had like the sandbar, disappeared by the mid nineteenth century.
8. Newspapers of the early 1870's in Pittsburgh bear witness to the interest of the coal companies in the height of the Point Bridge span, and it was the non-compliance of the Union Bridge Company with the U. S. Government requirements that brought about the demolition of Pennsylvania Charter Books. Union Bridge Company. July 12, 1850.
9. State of Pennsylvania Charter Books. Union Bridge Company. July 12, 1850.
10. Erasmus Wilson, Standard History of Pittsburgh (Chicago, 1898), p. 117.
11. Engineering News, V (April 14, 1877), p. 90.
12. Davis (1837-1907) was one of those American engineers of the nineteenth century who seems to have learned his trade mostly "in the field", so to speak, particularly in railway surveying. Later he was consulting engineer for the Point Bridge and also designed a new structure for the Smithfield Street Bridge (to succeed Roebling's aging suspension span), but Davis' design was discarded in favor of Gustav Lindenthal's bow-string truss structure of 1883-1886. Davis was elected Engineer of Allegheny County in 1881, a position he held until his death. See Biographical Review (Pittsburgh and vicinity), (Boston, 1897), XXLV, pp. 475-477 and Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Madison, 1904), I, pp. 37-38. There is also an obituary notice in the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, February 22, 1907.
13. Engineering News, V (April 14, 1877), p. 90. This account makes no mention of a charter nor is there any mention of one in the State of Pennsylvania archives at Harrisburg, Pa.
14. Ibid, p. 90. See also the Supreme Court Reporter, 27 (October term, 1906), (St. Paul, 1907), p. 368.
15. Allen. Op. Cit., p. 76.
There are a number of exterior photographs of the bridge. White and Von Bernewitz has a photograph of the interior, p. 47. The Art Work of Pittsburgh has an excellent photo of the Point portal which was executed in the heavy Italianate style of the 1870's.
16. The Supreme Court Reporter, V. 27, (October term 1906), p. 368.
17. The Bridges of Pittsburgh (New York, 1970), p. 65.
This statement is probably due to a misreading of an inscription on a bronze tablet placed on the Manchester Bridge in 1932 commemorating "a rope walk" established on the bank of the Allegheny in 1812. The same writer (P. 65) also gives the date of the opening of the first Manchester Bridge, i.e. the Union Bridge, as 1820.
18. State of Pennsylvania Charter Books, Point Bridge Company, December 26, 1874. See also Engineering News Record, V (April 14, 1877), p. 90.
19. Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, Thursday, 21 July, 1921.
20. S. S. Schoff, The Glory of Chicago-Her Manufactories, (Chicago, 1873).
21. There is some biographical material on Edward Hemberle in Deutsch-Amerikanische Geschichtsblatter (Erlevnisse und Beobachtungen eines deutschen Ingeneurs in den Vereinicten Staaten), 1867-85, Vol. I, no. 3, pp. 22-25, no. 4, p. 1-12, vol II, 1, p. 15-24, no. 2, p. 10-19, no. 3, p. 21-31, no. 4, p. 12-21. Chicago V. 2, no, 1, p. 15 ff.
22. The Engineering News, III: 9 (February 26, 1876), p. 67 reproduced a perspective drawing of the proposed bridge, and the issue of July 8, 1876 has two pages of drawings, part of which were reproduced here. Other contemporary descriptions of the-bridge are to be found in the following:
"Point Bridge Pittsburgh", Scientific American Supplement, 2:34 (19 August, 1876), pp. 533-534; and "The New Bridge at Pittsburgh", 3 (May 5, 1877), p. 1107.
C. M. Gariel, "Le Pont Suspendu de Pittsburgh", Annales des Ponts et Chaussees (Memoires et Documents), 2 (1879), pp. 323-333. J. Seefeelner, "Long-Span Stiffened Suspension Bridge over the Monongahela River at Pittsburg" Institution of Civil Engineers, London-Proceedings, 58 (1879), p. 369.
Later descriptions are to be found in A. A. Jakkula, History of Suspension Bridges (Texas A and M Engineering Experiment Station Bulletin 57, 1941), pp. 194-l95. Henry Grattan Tyrell, History of Bridges Engineering (Chicago, 1911), p. 235.
Carl Condit, American Building Art: 19th century, (New York, 1960), p. 318. Although the author concedes that the bridge was unique in America, he takes an unfavorable view of both its construction and its architectural adornments.
G. A. Hool, and W. S. Kinne (comps), Movable and Long Span Steel Bridges, (New York, 1923), p. 325. Department of Public Works, (Pittsburgh, Company 1916), p. 36.
"Pittsburgh Bridges . . ." Pittsburgh Post, December 3, l905. In this article the well known architect, Henry Hornbostel (1867-1961) who was famous for his architectural adornments for several New York bridges, including the Hell Gate Bridge, considered that the first Point Bridge was the finest in Pittsburgh from the standpoint of design and visual effect.
23. "The City's Bridges:, Construction, I:12 (March 25, l905), pp. 22-23.
24. Edward Manning Bigelow (1850-1916) was the man, who more than any other, changed the physical aspect of Pittsburgh at the turn of the century and began its transformation into a modern city. His concern with bridges, street and highway systems, and the park system is still evident despite much recent re-planning. The first of the City's great traffic boulevards bears his names. At the time of his retirement, a notice in Construction III: 19 (March 19, 1906), p. 299, said of him -- "with the passing of the present month . . . the city of Pittsburgh will lose one of its oldest one of its most faithful, and one of its most efficient public servants. Except for three brief periods, one of which was spent in the completion of his college course, he has been connected with the engineering department of the City for thirty-eight years. Mr. Bigelow is pre-eminently a municipal engineer as distinguished from the civil, structural, or mechanical engineer-and as such he is typical of the class of men developed along engineering lines by municipal needs and conditions." He became City Engineer in 1880 and Director of Public Works in 1888. See the Book of Prominent Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, 1913), p. 18, and obituary notice in Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, December 7, 1916.
25. "Reconstruction of the Point Bridge" (I), Engineering Record. 51: 18 (May 6, 1905), p. 517-519.
26. "Reconstruction of the Point Bridge" (II), Engineering Record, 51:l9 (May 13, l905), pp. 540-543. See also Pittsburgh Leader, December 1, 1904.
27. Pittsburgh Post, February 1, 1924.
28. Pittsburgh Sun, April 8, l925.
29. Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, November 4, 1924.
30. Pittsburgh News-Record, 97:20 (November 11, 1926), p. 804.
31. Roush (1885-1946) at that time County architect, is chiefly remembered for his alterations (1926) to H. H. Richardson's Allegheny County Court House and Jail at Pittsburgh and his County Office Building (1929-1931).
33. Pittsburgh Sun, April 8, 1925.
34. Engineering News-Record, 94:24 (June 11, 1925), p. 337.
35. Engineering News-Record, 95:23 (December 3, 1925) p. 313.
36. Richardson George S. (1896- ), a noted bridge engineer, now senior partner in the Pittsburgh firm of Richardson, Gordon and Associates, who designed the Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne Bridges at the Point, was associated with the Allegheny County Department of Public Works from 1924 to 1927.
37. Engineering News-Record, 97:20 (November 11, 1926), p. 8O4.
38. Greater Pittsburgh, June 25, 1927, p. 28.
39. Article by William Rimmel in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 29 February, 1964.
40. This statement and those following which have to do with the litigation in connection with the bridge are taken, except where otherwise noted, from The Supreme Court Reporter, 27 (October term, 1906) (St. Paul, 1907), p. 367-381, Union Bridge Company vs. U.S. See also United States Reporter, 204, U.S. 364, (October
term, 1906), pp. 364-402. Union Bridge Company vs. U.S.
41. Pittsburgh Post, July 7, 1907. In 1909, however, the ball park and the Pittsburgh Pirates moved to the new Forbes Field in the Oakland district of Pittsburgh. Now in 1970, both are back at the Three Rivers Stadium, which is on the site of Exposition
42. "A New Bridge Project," Construction, III; 12 (March 24, 1906) p. 275.
43. Pittsburgh Post, July 7, 1907. "Today a structure built of white pine (the material of the old Union Bridge) would cost more than one of steel because of the scarcity of lumber -- a comment on the waste of our natural resources and the need for reforestation." It is good to be reminded that conservation had become a matter
of great concern even in the first decade of this county.
44. Engineering News 63:23 (June 9, l910), p. 247; 63:26 (June 30, 1910) p. 281; and 64:1 (July 7, 1910), p. 3.
Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph, Auqust 9, l915.
See also Engineering News, 63:10, suppl., (March 10, 1910), p. 91.
"Plans have been completed for a two span bridge to be constructed over the Allegheny at Water Street and South Avenue . . . Estimated cost $1,000,000."
45. Engineering News, 72:23 (December 3, 1914), pp. 1124-26 and Engineering and Contracting, 41 (March 25, 1914), pp. 360-361. See also the bronze tablet affixed to the balustrade of the Pittsburgh abutment of the bridge some time after the dedication in August l915. This tablet is now in possession of the Pittsburgh History
and Landmarks Foundation.
46. Emil C. P. Swensson (1858-1919) was a well known bridge engineer in the Pittsburgh area. Born in Alborg, Denmark, he was educated in Sweden where he graduated in 1879 from the Chalmers Polytechnic Institute of Gothenburg. He emigrated to the United States in 1881 and entered the service of the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pa., where he became an expert in bridge engineering. In 1887 he moved to Pittsburgh and took a position with the Keystone Bridge Company, which in 1892 became a department of the Carnegie Steel Company. In 1895 he became superintendent and in 1896 chief engineer of that department. In June, l900, the American Bridge Company bought Keystone and he became manager of the Pittsburgh plant, but he shortly resigned to open his own office as consulting and structural engineer. See Story of Pittsburgh and Vicinity (Pittsburgh, 1908), p. 101-102. Information also obtained from S. J. Swensson, the engineer's son, resident (1970) in Pittsburgh.
47. Engineering News, 65:10 suppl., (March l911), p. 110; 65: 12 (March 23, 1911), p. 123; and 65:14 (April 4, 1911), p. 158.
48. Engineering News, 68:16 (October 17, 1912), p. 706-710.
Engineering and Contracting, XLI: 24 (June 17, 1914), p. 684-686
contains a complete description of the design features of the sub-structure with plates.
49. Engineering News, 68:16 (October, 17, 1912), p. 706-710 and
Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph, August 9, l915.
5O. Engineering News, 68:16 (October 17, 1912), p. 706-710. Also
Engineering-and Contracting, XLI: 12 (March 25, 1912), p. 358-361
contains a complete engineering description, with plates, of the
S1. Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph, August 9, 1915.
53. Engineering and Contracting, XLlI:9 (August 26, 1914) pp. 196-l98 and Sprauge, N. S., "Highways, Bridges of the City of Pittsburgh", Journal of the Engineer's Society of Pennsylvania, 6:11 (November, 1914), pp. 291-29i.
54. Ibid. Also Engineering News, 72:23 (December, 1914), pp. 1124-26.
55. This marks the first use of that name for the bridge. All previous news items had called it either the Union Bridge or the North Side Point Bridge.
56. Joseph Armstrong (1868-1931) who had been associated with the construction of the bridge became mayor in 1914. As Director of Public Works from 1909 to 1914, he helped initiate several important public improvements during that period of which the Manchester Bridge and the removal of the "Hump" on Grant's Hill, were the most important. Other equally important projects were carried out during his term as Allegheny County Commissioner in the 1920's. The Armstrong Tunnels, completed in 1927, were named for him. Charles W. Dahlinger (1858-1933), a Pittsburgh banker and lawyer, is chiefly remembered as a writer on local history.
57. "Ornamental Portals for Point Bridge", Engineering News, 76:26, (December 28, 1916), pp. 1242-1243.
58. Charles Keck (1875-1951) was one of that company of talented and competent sculptors of the Academic, Classical tradition who flourished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in America. Born in New York, he studied at the Art Students' League and the National Academy of Design. From 1893 to 1898 he was an assistant in the studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens; although he was a student from 1900 to 1904 in the America Academy at Rome, he continued to receive criticism from Saint-Gaudens. He established a studio in New York on his return to the United States, where in the course of a long career he received commissions for many large monuments and sculptural adornments for public buildings. See Mantle Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (addendum by James F. Carr) (New York, 1965), p. 484; E. Benezet, Dictionarire . . . des Pairtres, Sculpteurs, etc. (Paris, 1952) V. p. 224; Who's Who in American Art, I (1936-37), p. 231; and American Art Annual, 30 (1933), p. 582.
59. Both photographs of the model for the rejected stone portal and the approved new design are reproduced in Annual Report of the Art Commission, City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, 1916, pp. 8-9. On page 7 photos of the models of the two bronze reliefs are shown. The report also states that the preliminary drawings and models were approved by the Commission on May 4, 1916, and the working drawings on October 9, of the same year.
60. Recorded on the bronze tablet mentioned in number 48.
61. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12 April, 1959.
62. Charles M. Stotz, "Point State Part and the Fort Pitt Museum", Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, 52:3 (July, 1969), pp. 263-267.
63. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, June 28, 1959.
64. Interview with George Richardson.
65. As was Theodore Cooper's third Sixth Street Bridge of 1893, the two through-truss spans of which were floated down the Ohio to Corapolis where they were installed in 1926. Even so the top chords of the trusses had to be dismantled to get the barges under the Manchester Bridge.
66. Pittsburgh Press, November 27, l958.
67. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 22, 1964.
68, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, AugUst 2, 1964.
69. Pittsburgh Press, June 27, 1927.
70. John Schurko, a local architect, suggested a 350-room motel and a museum atop the Point Bridge and he would like to have had a public library, an art gallery, a restaurant; and shops built on the Manchester (See Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 30, 1970). James Lesko, a local artist, wanted to turn the Manchester into a modern American Ponte Vecchi where pedestrians could shops and dine (See Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1 November, 1969). In 1967 a group of Pittsburgh artists, known as STL, had also to preserve the bridges for public use in connection with an expanded use of the Point facilities.
71. Coincident with the removal of the bridge ramps the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation undertook some archeological excavations in the historic Point area. After the steel and concrete has vanished, a number of artifacts were found. See Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 10, 1970.
72. Information from the Public Relations Office, Dravo Corporation, Pittsburgh.
73. Pittsburgh Press, July 13, 1970.
74. Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette, September 30, 1970.
75. Pittsburgh Press, 28 October, 1970.
76. The first Point Bridge, had been acquired by purchase in 1896, shortly before Brady Street was opened.
77. On authority of George S. Richardson, the Pittsburgh bridge engineer.
78. PittsbUrgh is essentially a collection of settlements in valleys among hills. Due to the extremely "broken" topography it has always been difficult here to lay out any large gridiron areas and thus "number" streets in the usual American manner. After the city had reached something of its present dimensions, in 1868, the short streets on the south bank of the Allegheny were numbered as far out as the '60's, but then the pattern disappears. Similarly on the flat alluvial plane of the South Side the streets were numbered but the pattern disappears in the '30's. To differentiate the South Side numbered streets from those along the Allegheny, the titles of the former have always been qualified by the word "South".
79. Soho Run has long since been covered over, but it still appears in the Hopkins Atlas of the City of Pittsburgh of 1872.
80. See the section on the South Side in James D. Van Trump, Arthur P. Ziegler, The Landmark Architecture of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh,
81. White and von Bernewitz, p. 32. The South Tenth Street Bridge has been replaced twice, once in 1903 and again in 1931.
82. Pittsburgh Press, March 22, 1896.
83. Engineering News, 31:15 p. 97; 31:15, p. 310; 31:16, p. 330. 31:19, p. 397 and 31:20, p. 417.
84. Edward M. Bigelow has already been noticed in this study in connection with the first Point Bridge. He was, as well, one of the moving spirits behind the erection of the Brady Street Bridge.
85. Engineering News 32:10; 32:20 p. 415; 32:22, p. 455.
86. Bulletin, 30:4, p. 7
87. The Story of Pittsburgh and Vicinity (Pittsburgh, 1908) p. 100.
88. There is another description of the work of the Schultz Bridge and Iron Company in the Pittsburgh Press, March 22, 1896, p. 17. The company was also contractor for the Schenley Park bridges of the City of Pittsburgh.:
89. Engineering News, 33:26, p. 204.
90. Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph, March 25, 1896.
91. This description is contained in "The City's Bridges", Construction, I:12 (March 25, 1905), p. 22.
92. Tyrell, p. 334.
93. White and von Bernewitz, p. 38.
94. Industrial World, July 25, l910, p. 874.
95. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 6, 1970.
96. Pittsburgh Press, October, 1969.
97. Pittsburgh Press, July 17, 1970.
ILLUSTRATIVE MATERIAL FOR BRIDGE BOOK
Union Bridge (1874-75)
Photographs in photographic archives of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
B 10 - Point Portal of Union Bridge. Several photos showing both Union and first Point Bridge; of which the best are the following: P 1608 (c. 1895).
A l2O (taken from Mt. Washington c. 1896).
B 23 (c. 1900) photo of river steamer trying to pass beneath Union Bridge.
A 307 (c. 1900 - from files of U.S. Army Engineering Corps.)
Photograph of the interior of Union Bridge in White and von Bernewitz Bridges of Pittsburgh, p. 47.
Point Bridge I (1875-77)
Elevation and plan of bridge in Tyrell History of Bridge Engineering, p. 235, fig. 115.
Two pages of engraved plates of drawings for bridge in Engineering News III (8 July, 1876) p. 22O, ff. This is the best engineering diagram of the structure. Should by all means be reproduced.
Wood engraving of bridge as opened in 1877 in Scientific American (11 September, 1880). This is also in the Carnegie Library Photo Archive - No. 1433.
Photo taken from hillside just above bridge portal in Pittsburgh Illustrated (1889) - unpaged. This is Perhaps best extant photo from this angle.
Carnegie photo archive - see above under Union Bridge. There is also an excellent photo of structure taken from the Pittsburgh shore - L 1363. This is perhaps the best early photo (c. 1892).
Photo of both old and new Point Bridge side by side in White and von Bernewitz. The Bridges of Pittsburgh, p. 33.
Manchester Bridge (1911-1915)
Photo as nearing completion in N. S. Sprague "Highway Bridges of the City of Pittsburgh" in Journal of the Engineers' Society of Pennsylvania, 6:11 (November, 1914, pp. 291-297. Photo on p. 294.
Two photos of structure in White and von Bernewitz, The Bridges of Pittsburgh - p. 12 - sculptured portal, p. 47 - over-all view.
Photos of ornamental portals of bridge in Engineering News 76:26 (28 December, 1916). pp. 1242-1243
Photo of interior of bridge taken in September 1950 in Carnegie Photo Archive - A 1012.
Photo of Point in 1947 showing both Manchester and Point II bridges in Carnegie Photo Archive - L 1436.
Point Bridge II (1925-1927)
Preliminary sketch - Charette 6 (June, 1925) frontispiece.
Final drawing - Charette 5:10 (October, 1925). frontispiece.
Photo of interior in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 1 November 1969. An excellent photo made from a poster by James Lesko.
There are a number of good photos of the demolition of both the Manchester and Point II bridges in the Pittsburgh newspaper of 1970.
Brady Street (South Twenty-Second Street) Bridge (1895-1896)
Elevation drawing in Tyrell, History of Bridge Engineering, p. 334, fig. 238.
Photo in White and von Bernewitz, The Bridges of Pittsburgh, p. 38
Wood engraving (large cut) of entire bridge and smaller one of ornamented north portal in Pittsburgh Press of 25 March 1896.
Drawing of bridge by W. G. Walter in the Pittsburgh Bulletin 30:4 (1 December, 1894), p. 7
Photo of bridge taken from hillside above Soho with piers of the new bridge in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6 August, 1970.
Views of the Point before construction of bridges - and after.
Photographs in Carnegie Library photo archive
Views of the Point from an engraving after a water color made in 1817 by Mrs. C. F. Gibson of Philadelphia - L 1296
View taken from Mt. Washington in 1849.
A colored lithograph by Tappan and Bradford after a contemporary drawing by B. F. Smith - A 505
Also the same view from an engraving in the Pennsylvania Room of Carnegie Library - L 157.
View in 1850, used as a letterhead - B 24
View taken from Gleason's Pictorial for 30 April, 1853 Wood engraving, very tenebrous and Romantic - L 224.
View in 1923, photograph, showing both Manchester and Point II bridges - L 1434
View in 1964, Photograph, showing both sets of bridges Manchester and Point II as well as the new Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt bridges. - P 1646
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Historic American Engineeering Record (HAER) Text: James D. Van Trump, 1973