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Chicago River Bridges by Patrick T.…

Chicago River Bridges

by Patrick T. McBriarty

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A glance at this book might make you think it is "coffee table" material--and it is. It is not, however, just another pretty face. Old and new photographs and illustrations complement Patrick McBriarty's well researched and well written history of the bridge system that currently serves Chicago.

The Chicago River makes a peninsula of the city center. The river has been a means of transport of goods and people, a dump for sewage, and a tourist attraction. But, without its bridges, it is an impediment to commerce and travel from the city center to the land to the west and the north. Chicagoans, ever interested in growth, devised ways to cross the river and yet allow ship traffic to bring necessary commodities through the city from Lake Michigan.

In "Chicago River Bridges" McBriarty chronicles the development of the ferries, swing bridges, vertical lift bridges, and bascule bridges from Chicago's beginnings to the present to provide for essential movement of people and vehicles across the river. He recounts the anecdotes and legends, and explains the mechanics. He conveys the grit and spirit of that has made Chicago the drawbridge capital of the world. Read it! But don't mess it up. You will want to put it on the coffee table when you have finished. ( )
  LisaCurcio | Nov 19, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0252037863, Hardcover)

Chicago River Bridgespresents the untold history and development of Chicago's iconic bridges, from the first wood footbridge built by a tavern owner in 1832 to the fantastic marvels of steel, concrete, and machinery of today. It is the story of Chicago as seen through its bridges, for it has been the bridges that proved critical in connecting and reconnecting the people, industry, and neighborhoods of a city that is constantly remaking itself. In this book, author Patrick T. McBriarty shows how generations of Chicagoans built (and rebuilt) the thriving city trisected by the Chicago River and linked by its many crossings.
This comprehensive guidebook chronicles more than 175 bridges spanning 55 locations along the Main Channel, South Branch, and North Branch of the Chicago River. With new full-color photography of existing bridges and more than one hundred black and white images of bridges past, the book unearths the rich history of Chicago's downtown bridges from the Michigan Avenue Bridge to the often forgotten bridges that once connected thoroughfares such as Rush, Erie, Taylor, and Polk Streets.
Throughout, McBriarty delivers new research into the bridges' architectural designs, engineering innovations, and their impact on Chicagoans' daily lives, explaining how the dominance of the "Chicago-style" bascule drawbridge influenced the style and mechanics of bridges worldwide. Interspersed throughout are the human dramas that played out on and around the bridges, such as the floods of 1849 and 1992, the cattle crossing collapse of the Rush Street Bridge, or Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci's Michigan Avenue Bridge jump. A confluence of Chicago history, urban design, and engineering lore, Chicago River Bridges illustrates Chicago's significant contribution to drawbridge innovation and the city's emergence as the drawbridge capital of the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:18 -0400)

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