Buffalo in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
West Ferry Street Bascule Bridge
The foot of West Ferry Street has been significant to Buffalo's history, from its use as Native American hunting grounds, to an escape point for African slaves fleeing the American South, to the beginnings of ferry traffic across the Niagara River. It was even the proposed landing site of a "Bridge for Peace", connecting Buffalo to Fort Erie, Canada, in 1908.
Constructed between 1913-14 for the Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Black Rock Lock project, the present-day heel-trunnion bridge at this site was designed by the Strauss Bascule Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois. It replaced a previous steel swing bridge in the same location, which had been built after 1900 (with an eye to Pan-American Exposition traffic soon to come). The bridge was conveyed to the City of Buffalo in 1953 and has undergone numerous reconstructions and related maintenance through the years.
Joseph Baermann Strauss, who founded his company in 1902, was born in Cincinnati, OH, invented several types of bridges and accessory parts, was Chief engineer at the Golden Gate Bridge and construction engineer for the George Washington Bridge.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at the foot of the West Ferry Street Bridge on the Unity Island side of the bridge which spans the Black Rock Channel to the south end of the island and Broderick Park. Access is from Niagara Street (NY Route 266). Although Google Maps shows West Ferry Street as Robert Rich Way, after Rich Products on both sides of the street, the bridge itself retains the Ferry Street or West Ferry Street name. Unity Island was recently renamed; it was Squaw Island. Marker is in this post office area: Buffalo NY 14213, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Underground Railroad River Crossing (within shouting distance of this marker); Industrial Powerhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); International Crossing (within shouting distance of this marker); Black Rock Harbor / From Plantation to Promised Land (within shouting distance of this marker); Broderick Park / Distinctive River Ecosystems (within shouting distance of this marker); Harrowing Journey Nowak Pier (approx. 0.2 miles away); Peter B. Porter (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Buffalo.
Also see . . . West Ferry Street Bascule Bridge rising - You Tube. (Submitted on September 19, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 25, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 19, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 156 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 19, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. 3. submitted on September 25, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.