Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25, 1930 -- Proposal for Outer Drive Bridge

May 25, 1930 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that the design for the $10,000,000 outer drive “link bridge” will be the city’s first use of “modern architecture . . . expressive of its function.” [Chicago Tribune, May 25, 1930] President Warren Wright of the Lincoln Park park commission says of the design, “The approved design is a restrained modern treatment, simple, dignified and massive. It is not only in keeping with the present day trends but it is thoroughly practical. Flat stone weathers better, looks better and needs less attention and repair than ornamented surfaces. Incidentally, the design gives ample room for the operators’ houses and excellent visibility from them, while its bold and concentrated ornamentation eliminates the need for much overall treatment.” When completed in 1937 Roosevelt Bridge, one of the most important Depression projects of the Works Progress Administration, was the longest, widest, heaviest bridge in the world. Each of the bridges 6,240 ton leaves was heavier than any bascule in existence. Today it is a massive example of industrial Art Deco design.

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