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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chicago in Cook County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Chicago's First Movable Bridge

 
 
Chicago's First Movable Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 28, 2021
1. Chicago's First Movable Bridge Marker
Inscription.  Chicago's first movable bridge was constructed at this site in 1834. The timber span provided only a 60 foot opening for the passage of vessels. So dangerous to ships was this narrow draw, that the bridge was ordered removed by the council in 1839. The present bridge is the fourth at this site.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Bridges & Viaducts. A significant historical year for this entry is 1834.
 
Location. 41° 53.278′ N, 87° 37.764′ W. Marker is in Chicago, Illinois, in Cook County. Marker is on North Dearborn Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chicago IL 60654, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trail Blazer (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); South Water Street (about 500 feet away); Bataan- Corregidor Memorial Bridge (about 500 feet away); Viet Nam Memorial (about 600 feet away); The Christmas Tree Ship (about 600 feet away); Chicago Remembers (about 700 feet away); Courthouse Plaza (approx. 0.2 miles away); “Hubbard’s Folly” (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chicago.
 
Also see . . .
Chicago's First Movable Bridge Marker - wide view, looking south... image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 28, 2021
2. Chicago's First Movable Bridge Marker - wide view, looking south...
....with the marker on the left and the pedestrian walkway across the Dearborn Street Bridge straight ahead.
Click or scan to see
this page online

1. Chicago’s movable bridges (Chicago Architecture Center). Article providing an historical overview of bridges in Chicago. (Submitted on September 5, 2021.) 

2. Dearborn Street Bridge. A discussion of the current bridge, as well as its three predecessors. Includes photos.
Excerpt regarding the previous bridges at the site: The first movable bridge in Chicago was built at this location in 1834. Ironically, this bridge had leaves that opened like a bascule bridge, although it would be decades later before Chicago again returned to a bascule style of bridge for its movable bridge needs. According to the Annual Report of the Department of Public Works, the double leaves of this first bridge were raised by iron chains passed over towers on landward ends. Timber for the bridge was cut from around nearby Michigan Avenue. Despite the bascule-like design, this bridge was so small it was a severe obstruction to boats and was hit often. The bridge was about 300 feet long with a 60 foot span for boats. Trying to rid the city of this obstruction, local citizens were still unable to get the bridge tore down through official means. They decided to take the matter into their own hands and formed a ax-wielding mob that proceeded to literally chop the bridge down, bringing an end to Chicago's first movable
Dearborn Street Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 28, 2021
3. Dearborn Street Bridge
Photo taken from the same side of the river as the marker, but from slightly to the west.
bridge. A bridge did not exist at this location again until 1888 when the old Wells Street Bridge (an iron swing bridge dating to 1872 and built by Fox and Howard) was moved to this location here at Dearborn Street. This relocation took place so that a double-deck swing bridge at Wells Street could be built. The relocated bridge served at Dearborn Street until 1907 when a Scherzer Rolling Lift bascule bridge was built.
(Submitted on September 5, 2021.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 56 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 5, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.

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Jun. 29, 2022