Sunday, January 10, 2016

1930 Wabash Street (Irv Kupcinet) Bridge over Main Stem

1933 Historic American Buildings Survey from WindyCity
(Historic Bridges, Bridge Hunter, HAERSatellite) Chicago Loop Bridges regular page is not very informative. But CLB's recent 85th Anniversary page has a lot of history. Specifically, it opened to traffic on December 20, 1930.

The Trump Building that is northeast of the bridge is where the Sun-Times building used to be. That is where Irv used to work. The Sun Times building was built 1955-1958 (Chicago Architecture)

Photo from LC-USF33-016147-M3 from LOT 1073, Jul 1941
Drawbridge, Chicago, Illinois
Dale Pohto shared
E.G. Mathiott... Photo from LC-USF33-016147-M3 from LOT 1073, Jul 1941, Chicago, Illinois
<a long link>
[LoC identifies the photographer as John Vachon.]
Mike Harlan shared
Association for Great Lakes Maritime History posted
Scott Gwynn posted
An image with the title “Drawbridge, Chicago, Illinois” showing a self-unloading freighter of the Columbia Transportation Co. navigating the Chicago River in July 1941 (Image Source: Library of Congress – Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection). 
The photograph was taken by photographer John Vachon (1914-1975). An analysis of a high-resolution copy of the image, and some database research, shows the freighter to be the E.G. Mathiott (II) and its homeport to be Wilmington, Del. at the time the photograph was taken.
[The description provides more history about the freighter]
Nate Walach: When did ships stop going in the actual Chicago River?
Association for Great Lakes Maritime History: The major limitation to freighters navigating up and down the Chicago River is the Chicago Harbor Lock located at the river's mouth. It was built between 1936 and 1938.
The lock chamber is 600 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 22 feet. While adequate for most vessels of the time, many of the those vessels were retired from service after the end of World War II and replaced by vessels over 600 feet in length and unable to navigate past the Chicago Harbor Lock.

Philip Wizenick provided a better exposure in a comment on a post

Historic Chicago posted
Chicago Drawbridge in the 1941
[I checked, it is not in the collection (LOT 1073) that the previous photo was in.]

Historic Chicago posted
Bridges up, passing the Wabash Ave bridge (1949)
Historic Chicago posted
Jeff Bransky: I guess we’re looking west from the Michigan Ave. Bridge.

I was confused if the above was the Wabash Street Bridge because it has no bridge tender houses. But the following photo confirms the Wacker Drive structure on the left at this curve. The boxcars would be parked in C&NW's State Street Yard.
Photo from HAER ILL, 16-CHIG, 133--1

1. GENERAL VIEW OF BRIDGE FROM MICHIGAN AVENUE LOOKING WEST. - Chicago River Bascule Bridge, Wabash Avenue, Spanning Chicago River at North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Cook County, IL

[The HAER survey includes several interior photos including the machinery that raises the bridge. Those photos are also on the Bridge Hunter page.]

Jeff Davies posted
North Wabash at the Chicago River.
Chicago. Year Unknown.
Photo courtesy of Skyscraper City.
Cameron Silver Does anyone know why Wabash has the kink, rather than go straight across the river??
Dave Lutzow Most likely it originally followed the swampy bank, which was later filled in to build on. Mark Reiner, what do you think?
Mark Reiner I am not certain, but I think you are right Dave. It would have cost a lot more to straighten that out.

Historic Chicago posted
Wabash Avenue Bridge (1985)

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