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West Division Street Bridge, Spanning North Branch of Chicago River at West Div, Chicago, Cook County, IL



See 45 maps of this location


B&W Photos

HB456185
View Looking At Western Pier Showing Deck Superstructure: From Se River Pier.

HB456186
Detail Of Girder Support Shoe; From Se River Pier Looking North.

HB456187
View From Inside East Counterweight Room Looking East At Counterweight.

HB456188
View From Inside East Counterweight Room Looking Nw At Trunnion And Support.

HB456189
View Of Anchor With Lower Buffer From East Gear Room, Looking West.

HB456190
View Of Gear Drive Train From East Gear Room Looking North.

HB456191
View Of Gear Drive Train With Limiting Bar From East Gear Room Looking Se.

HB456192
View Of Upper Buffer With Trunnions From Se

HB456193
Perspective View Of Western Portal Looking Ese From Nw Sidewalk.

HB456194
Perspective View Of East Span And House From Sw Looking Ne.

HB456195
View Of Trunnion Superstructure From Se Sidewalk Looking Nw.


Data Pages


Drawings


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
Spanning North Branch of Chicago River at West Div, Chicago, IL

Find maps of Chicago, IL


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER IL-148
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N667).
Building/structure dates: 1904 demolished
Significance: When Chicago became a major commercial and industrial center after the Civil War, the most common American drawbridge was the swing bridge, horizontally rotating on a center pier to open two navigation channels. The center pier, however, became a navigational hazard for the ever-larger craft of the late nineteenth century, especially on crowded, narrow waterways such as the Chicago River. During the late 1890s, Chicago City Engineer John Ericson initiated a planning study to find an alternative to the swing span. Finding inspiration in the 1894 Tower Bridge in London, England, the municipal engineering staff developed a new movable-bridge design. The type was known as a double-leaf bascule, French for "seesaw." Each movable leaf rotated vertically on a fixed, horizontal steel axle, or trunnion, leaving the entire river channel open for shipping. With the front of each leaf counterbalanced by weights at the rear, relatively small motors could open and close the span. Completed in 1904, the West Division Street Bridge was the fourth bascule based on the city's new design.

Subjects
Bridges
Bascule Bridges
Bridge Construction


Related Names
Pihlfeldt, Thomas G.
Ericson, John E.
Fitzsimons & Connell Company
Roemheld & Gallery
Chicago Department Of Transportation
Hess, Jeffrey A., Historian
Lowe, Jet, Photographer
Koslow, Julia, Delineator
Gardner, Lisa, Delineator


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. VIEW LOOKING AT WESTERN PIER SHOWING DECK SUPERSTRUCTURE: FROM SE RIVER PIER.
2. DETAIL OF GIRDER SUPPORT SHOE; FROM SE RIVER PIER LOOKING NORTH.
3. VIEW FROM INSIDE EAST COUNTERWEIGHT ROOM LOOKING EAST AT COUNTERWEIGHT.
4. VIEW FROM INSIDE EAST COUNTERWEIGHT ROOM LOOKING NW AT TRUNNION AND SUPPORT.
5. VIEW OF ANCHOR WITH LOWER BUFFER FROM EAST GEAR ROOM, LOOKING WEST.
6. VIEW OF GEAR DRIVE TRAIN FROM EAST GEAR ROOM LOOKING NORTH.
7. VIEW OF GEAR DRIVE TRAIN WITH LIMITING BAR FROM EAST GEAR ROOM LOOKING SE.
8. VIEW OF UPPER BUFFER WITH TRUNNIONS FROM SE. SIDEWALK LOOKING NW.
9. PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF WESTERN PORTAL LOOKING ESE FROM NW SIDEWALK.
10. PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF EAST SPAN AND HOUSE FROM SW LOOKING NE.
11. VIEW OF TRUNNION SUPERSTRUCTURE FROM SE SIDEWALK LOOKING NW.


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