Celebrating the Double-Decker Centurion on Lake Street
Nov07

Celebrating the Double-Decker Centurion on Lake Street

It’s been a good couple of weeks for celebrations in Chicago. And if you have any ice cream cake left over from the Cubs big victory, bung a candle in it and prepare to toast that iron horse of aerobatics and commerce: The Lake Street Bridge. Today’s Lake Street Bridge opened on November 6, 1916 and was the world’s very first double-decker, double-leaf bascule bridge. This second generation Chicago-type bascule is the fifth bridge at...

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The Hidden Smokestack and the Ghost Post Office
Jan12

The Hidden Smokestack and the Ghost Post Office

There are things in Chicago that you can’t see because they are not there.  And then there are things in Chicago that you can’t see because they’re right in front of you. In the photo above there are two things of note.  First, is the bridgetender’s house, one of two for the Lake Street Bridge across the Chicago River.  It was built in 1916 and is a fine piece of design by E.H. Bennett.  It is also a historic...

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Slice of Life: Under the Lake Street Bridge

A tug boat pilot chats with a construction worker on a barge one recent sunny day. They were both floating under the Lake Street Bridge during its...

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Double Decker Spans
Jun23

Double Decker Spans

It’s the everyday engineering wonders that hold a city together.  Some of those that Chicagoans take for granted are the city’s double-decker bridges. Lots of big cities like New York and Tokyo have double-decker spans, but those are long, modern, fixed spans.  In Chicago, we make even the short, ordinary, neighborhood bridges double-decker.  And we make them move. The two easiest examples are the Lake Street and Wells...

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