Corning in Steuben County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
1921 Year the Bridge was Completed
92.3’ Each Arch Span Length
752’ Total Bridge Length
41’ Each Arch length
This bridge was built in 1921, when Warren G. Harding was president of the United States. It closed to motor vehicles in 1981, when Ronald Reagan occupied the White house. It was built to relieve the stress of growing automotive and streetcar traffic on the Bridge Street Bridge, the city’s only other river crossing in the early 20th century. The proposal to build the bridge was so controversial that the decision was submitted to city voters in in 1920 referendum, which passed by a 2 – 1 margin.
In return for its approval, Corning’s Houghton family gave the city 100 acres of land on the Northside that became the Houghton Plot residential district.
Designed by pioneer concrete bridge engineer Abraham Burton Cohen (1882-1956) of New York City, this earth-filled structure has seven arched spans and six piers. Although high water and a fire in the construction area complicated the building process, the bridge was finished in the fall of 1921 and paved the following spring.
Plans for demolition proved as controversial as plans for initial construction. Before it could be torn down, hundreds of people gathered on the bridge to demonstrate their support for the preservation of the landmark.
The “Save Our Bridge” campaign was successful.
After extensive renovation the bridge reopened in 1986 for use by pedestrians, bicyclists and double-decker buses carrying tourists to the Corning Museum of Glass to the Market Street Historic District. A maze painted on the bridge roadway became popular with children.
Use of the bridge by the tourist buses eventually ended. Another major renovation, begun in 2012 and completed in 2013, created today’s bridgescape.
Preservation of the Centerway Bridge is not the only instance in which the Corning community has moved to save its architectural heritage. Other late 19th century and early 20th century structures faced demolition, but were ultimately spared. They include the Centerway Clock Tower at the south end of this bridge and the former Corning City Hall at the intersection of Cedar Street Denison Parkway, now the Rockwell Museum of Western Art (visible
The bridge’s designer, Abraham Burton Cohen, was a civil engineer noted for his innovative use of concrete. In addition to his bridge, two other of his projects, the Harrison Avenue Bridge in Scranton, Pa. and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad’s Tunkhannock Viaduct, are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Details of the design and construction of the Centerway Bridge are preserved at Cohen’s alma mater, Purdue University in a collection of his work.
Location. 42° 8.712′ N, 77° 3.233′ W. Marker is in Corning, New York, in Steuben County. Marker can be reached from Pine Street 0.2 miles north of E Tioga Street, on the left when traveling north. Located on the Centerway Bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Corning NY 14830, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. At This Location an Alliance of Prosperity was Formed (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Market Street Historic District (about 700 feet away); Concert Hall Block (about 700 feet away); Galvin and Haines Insurance (about 700 feet away); Ecker Drug Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Southern Tier Roller Mills (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Rockwell Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away); Achsinessink (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Corning.
Also see . . .
1. Abrahan Burton Cohen at Wikipedia. (Submitted on January 6, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Corning Centerway Bridge. (Submitted on January 6, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts •
More. Search the internet for Centerway Bridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 9, 2020. This page originally submitted on January 6, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 6, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.