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Massachusetts

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Ipswich

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Choate Bridge, Spanning Ipswich River at South Main Street, Ipswich, Essex County, MA



B&W Photos


Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
Spanning Ipswich River at South Main Street, Ipswich, MA

Find maps of Ipswich, MA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER MA-81
Building/structure dates: 1764 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1838 subsequent work
National Register Number: 72000137
Significance: The Choate Bridge is an example of early stone construction in the history of American road building. The Essex County Court voted in December, 1764 to name the bridge in honor of Col. John Choate, who supervised construction. The bridge originally measured 80'6" long and 20'6" wide in 1764. In 1838 the bridge was widened to 35'6" on the east side. The west side and parapet of the bridge, along with the inscription to Col. Choate, remain unchanged. / Choate Bridge ranks among the oldest, if not the oldest, extant bridges in Massachusetts. Built in 1764 to replace a succession of earlier timber spans, it survives basically unaltered with two elliptical stone arches and a battered stone parapet or "guard wall." The bridge is representative of period technology. It was widened to its present 35' 6" in 1838. The bridge was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places August 21, 1972.

Subjects
Government Officials
Civil Engineering
Stone Bridges


Related Names
Choate , Col
Morse, George


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. West side of bridge
2. Detail showing center pier, west side of bridge
3. East side of bridge
4. Detail showing date and name stone, southwest end of bridge
5. General view looking north across bridge deck
8. VIEW SHOWING BUILDER'S INSCRIPTION CARVED IN GRANITE ON ROADWAY SIDE, SOUTH END OF WEST WALL 'CHOATES BRIDGE BUILT BY TOWN & COUNTY + 1764'
9. GENERAL VIEW SHOWING EAST ELEVATION OF BRIDGE, LOOKING WEST FROM NORTH BANK
10. GENERAL VIEW SHOWING EAST ELEVATION OF BRIDGE, LOOKING WEST FROM SOUTH BANK
11. DETAIL VIEW OF NORTHEAST ABUTMENT WITH MASONRY DETAIL AND UTILITY ENCLOSURE, EAST SIDE
12. DETAIL VIEW OF SOUTH STONE ARCH, EAST SIDE, SHOWING 1764 AND 1838 MASONRY, LOOKING NORTHWEST
13. DETAIL VIEW OF SOUTHEAST ABUTMENT, EAST SIDE, LOOKING NORTHWEST
14. GENERAL VIEW OF ROADWAY AND DECK, LOOKING NORTH FROM SOUTH
15. GENERAL VIEW OF ROADWAY AND DECK, LOOKING SOUTH FROM NORTH
16. GENERAL VIEW SHOWING WEST ELEVATION OF BRIDGE, LOOKING EAST FROM NORTH BANK
17. DETAIL VIEW OF ROADWAY AND DECK
18. GENERAL VIEW IN CONTEXT, SHOWING BRIDGE WITH ADJOINING FRAME STRUCTURES AT SOUTHWEST END OF BRIDGE
19. OBLIQUE VIEW OF WEST SIDE OF BRIDGE, SHOWING DOUBLE STONE ARCHES, LOOKING SOUTHEAST


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