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Congress Street Bascule Bridge, Spanning Fort Point Channel at Congress Street, Boston, Suffolk County, MA



B&W Photos

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Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title
Congress Street Bascule Bridge, Spanning Fort Point Channel at Congress Street, Boston, Suffolk County, MA

Location
Spanning Fort Point Channel at Congress Street, Boston, MA

Find maps of Boston, MA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER MA-38
Building/structure dates: 1931 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1954 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1976 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1980 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1984 subsequent work
Significance: The Congress Street Bridge, built in 1930, is a trunnion bascule bridge and the most recent of the five movable-truss bridges spanning the Fort Point Channel. It replaced a steam operated swing draw and was electrically operated. / The Congress Street Bascule Bridge is one of the few surviving electrically-operated Strauss overhead-counterweight bascule drawbridges with a Warren-with-verticals pony truss. The masonry piers are carried above deck level and are topped with ornamental lanterns which give the bridge a unique architectural character. Despite the loss of some of its operating equipment and deterioration of auxiliary structures (fenders), many original components (superstructure, lighting, gates, and operating machinery) remain. The Tender's House is incorporated within the Boston Tea Party Ship Museum, a prominent feature adjacent to the existing structure. The bridge is located in the proposed Fort Point Channel Historic District, which includes five surviving movable bridges.

Subjects
Commerce
Fires
Civil Engineering


Related Names
Boston Bridge Works
Coleman Brothers Incorporated
Desmond & Lord
Strauss Bascule Bridge Company
Boston Public Works Department Bridge & Ferry Divi
Carty, John E.
Lowe, Jet, Photographer
Stupich, Martin, Photographer
Severy, Robert, Photographer
Stott, Peter, Historian


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. GENERAL VIEW LOOKING NORTHEAST, SHOWING BASCULE BRIDGE WITH STONE PIERS. DRAW SPAN AT CENTER OF BRIDGE IS VISIBLE ON RIGHT. METAL STRUCTURE ABOVE BRIDGE ON RIGHT CONTAINS COUNTER WEIGHT.
2. HINGES ON DRAW SPAN OF BRIDGE. BOTTOM OF COUNTER WEIGHT IS VISIBLE IN UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER.
3. CONTEXTUAL VIEW OF BRIDGE, LOOKING NORTHEAST FROM THE ROOF OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK IN BOSTON
4. CONTEXTUAL VIEW OF BRIDGE, LOOKING SOUTHWEST FROM ROOF OF CHILDREN'S MUSEUM IN SOUTH BOSTON
5. VIEW OF FORT POINT CHANNEL, CONGRESS STREET AND NORTHERN AVENUE BRIDGES FROM SUMMER STREET BRIDGE, LOOKING NORTHEAST
6. GENERAL VIEW OF BOSTON APPROACH TO BRIDGE, LOOKING SOUTHEAST TOWARD SOUTH BOSTON
7. GENERAL VIEW OF APPROACH ROADWAY, LOOKING NORTHWEST FROM SOUTH BOSTON
8. VIEW OF BASCULE SECTION, SHOWING PONY TRUSSES AND COUNTERWEIGHT, LOOKING NORTHEAST
9. VIEW OF FIXED SPAN GIRDERS, SHOWING BASCULE AND COUNTERWEIGHT IN BACKGROUND, LOOKING NORTHWEST
10. VIEW OF BASCULE PONY TRUSS, LOOKING WEST FROM ROADWAY ON SOUTH SIDE
11. VIEW OF COUNTERWEIGHT, LOOKING NORTHWEST FROM ROADWAY LOOKING TOWARD BOSTON
12. DETAIL VIEW OF SOUTH BASCULE HEEL AND COUNTERWEIGHT, LOOKING SOUTHWEST FROM ROADWAY
13. VIEW OF HEEL TRUNNION AND COUNTERWEIGHT SUPPORTS, LOOKING NORTHWEST FROM SOUTH SIDE
14. DETAIL VIEW OF NORTH BASCULE HEEL, LOOKING SOUTHEAST FROM SIDEWALK
15. VIEW OF BASCULE SUBSTRUCTURE, SHOWING CANTILEVERED-TRUSS SIDEWALK SUPPORTS OF BASCULE SECTION, LOOKING WEST
16. DETAIL VIEW OF TOE END SUPPORT AD NORTH SIDEWALK CANTILEVER CONNECTION, LOOKING SOUTHEAST
17. DETAIL VIEW OF DATE PLAQUE AND BASCULE HEEL TRUNNION SUPPORT ON NORTH SIDE OF BRIDGE, LOOKING SOUTH
18. VIEW OF NORTH PIERS AND LANTERNS, LOOKING WEST FROM SOUTH BOSTON
19. VIEW OF SOUTH PIERS AND LANTERNS, LOOKING NORTH FROM SOUTH BOSTON
20. DETAIL VIEW FROM BOSTON END OF BRIDGE, SHOWING PIER AND LANTERN, SECOND PIER, SOUTH SIDE
21. VIEW OF SOUTH (UPSTREAM) SIDE OF BRIDGE, SHOWING SIDEWALK WITH PIER LANTERN, RAILING, AND MAIN GIRDER, LOOKING SOUTHEAST
22. VIEW OF FIXED SPAN SUBSTRUCTURE, EAST SPAN, SHOWING CANTILEVERED-BEAM SIDEWALK SUPPORTS, LONGITUDINAL GIRDER AND TRANSVERSE ROADBED BEAMS, LOOKING SOUTHEAST
23. DETAIL VIEW OF FIXED SPAN SUBSTRUCTURE, EAST SPAN, SHOWING CONDITION OF GRANITE PIERS AND PILES OF ADJACENT PIER, LOOKING SOUTHEAST
24. DETAIL VIEW OF ORNAMENTAL RAILING PANEL, SOUTH SIDE, CENTER OF SECOND SPAN, LOOKING FROM EAST BOSTON
25. DETAIL VIEW OF SIDEWALK GATE, SOUTH SIDEWALK, LOOKING SOUTHEAST
26. DETAIL VIEW OF ROADWAY GATE, SOUTH SIDE, LOOKING TOWARD SOUTH BOSTON
27. VIEW OF TENDER'S HOUSE, SHOWING TWO ORIGINAL WINDOWS AND FLAT ROOF REPLACING HIPPED ROOF, LOOKING EAST
28. INTERIOR VIEW OF TENDER'S HOUSE, SHOWING ORIGINAL FLOOR, DOOR AND WINDOW OPENINGS; REPAIRED WALL SHEATHING WITH LATER CEILING, LOOKING WEST
29. VIEW OF FORTH POINT CHANNEL BRIDGES, 1931, (CONGRESS STREET BRIDGE AT MIDDLE, SUMMER STREET BRIDGE AT BOTTOM, NORTHERN AVENUE BRIDGE AT TOP), LOOKING NORTH
30. VIEW OF TENDER'S HOUSE, SHOWING HIPPED ROOF, LOOKING EAST TOWARD SOUTH BOSTON
31. GENERAL PLAN AS PROPOSED BY ENGINEERS. Tender's house with hipped roof. Courtesy of John E. Carry, Division Engineer, Boston Department of Public Works, 1924 Taken by Robert Severy, December 1965:
32. GENERAL PLAN AS PROPOSED BY ARCHITECTS. 'Substantially as Built,' Desmond & Lord, 1924; Revised 1974. Courtesy of the Fairchild Aerial Survey, 1931:
33. PIERS 2, 3, 7 and 8 - FRONT AND END ELEVATIONS. Showing pilings and masonry with lamp detail. Courtesy of Boston Bridge & Ferry Division, 1929.
34. GENERAL DRAWING - BASCULE PLAN, ELEVATION, AND SECTION. Operator's (tender's) house and list of drawings. Courtesy of Strauss Bascule Bridge Company, 1929.
35. CONDUIT LAYOUT FOR BASCULE General overview with motors, brakes, etc. Courtesy of Norwood Noonan Company, Chicago, 1930.
36. ERECTION PLAN - DRAW BRIDGE Construction drawings Courtesy of Boston Bridge Works, Inc., 1930.
37. LUMBER PLAN Construction drawings - general framing, bascule. Courtesy of Boston Bridge Works, Inc., 1930.
38. LAYOUT - TRUNNION END sections with machinery Courtesy of Strauss Bascule Bridge Company, 1929.
39. DRAW TENDER'S HOUSE Plans, elevations, framing Courtesy of John E. Carty, Division Engineer, Baton Department of Public Works, 1929.
40. DRAW CONTROL - PLAN OF OPERATING ROOM, CONTROLS, SIGNALS With draw tender's and gateman's instructions Courtesy of John E. Carty, Division Engineer, Boston Department of Public Works, 1929.
41. LAYOUT OF CONTROL STAND AND SWITCHBOARD With operating instructions Courtesy of Norwood Noonan Company, Chicago, 1930.


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