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Damen Avenue Bridge

Damen Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 8, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Chicago Belt) Over Damen Avenue
Location
Chicago: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Metal Deck Girder, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Slab, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1940 By Builder/Contractor: Strobel Steel Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois and Engineer/Design: Arthur Engh

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Damen Avenue Bridge

Chicago has an enormous number of railroad overpass bridges (grade separations) but only a very small number stand out among this large population for having considerable attention given to the aesthetic quality of the bridge by the inclusion of noteworthy architectural detailig. The Damen Avenue Bridge is one of the best examples of a beautifully designed railroad overpass. With one steel span over the street and two small concrete spans over each sidewalk, the bridge has elaborate architectural details on the concrete above the sidewalk. Over the street, the ornamental steel railings which have a strip of detailed concrete running below them are the highlights for this portion of the bridge. Both the railing and the detailing over the sidewalk is unlike the details found on other "aesthetic" overpasses in Chicago. The piers of the bridge as well as the abutments and retaining walls are also nicely decorated, even if more subtly and using a design found on a few other Chicago overpasses. The handsomely designed bronze plaque mounted on the abutments also follows a design found on a couple other of Chicago's nicer looking overpasses. As the plaque indicates, this bridge was built using Depression era federal funding programs, which adds to the historic significance of the overpass. The overpass retains excellent historic integrity and is one of the finest railroad overpasses in Chicago. Parallel to this bridge immediately to the north and sharing the same retaining wall system is another plate girder overpass. While this bridge has a few nice looking aesthetic details, it does not have the elaborate design seen in this bridge. A few photos of this additional bridge are included in the photo gallery.

Main Plaque

FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION

JOHN M. CARMODY
FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

S. DAMEN AVENUE IMPROVEMENT
1940

BUILT BY THE
CITY OF CHICAGO
EDWARD J. KELLY, MAYOR

BOARD OF LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS

WORK COMMENCED UNDER
JAMES P. BOYLE, PRESIDENT

WORK COMPLETED UNDER
MICHAEL F. MULCAHY, PRESIDENT

WILLIAM W. LINK, VICE PRESIDENT

MEMBERS
 
MARTIN J. MCNALLY
CHARLES H. WEBER
WILLIAM J. CONNORS
PAUL H. MUELLER, SEC'Y

ARTHUR ENGH
CHIEF ENGINEER

CONTRACTORS

L. B. STRANDBERG & SON CO.
SUBSTRUCTURE
STROBEL CONSTR. CO.
SUPERSTRUCTURE

BRENNAN MCNICHOLS CONSTR. CO.
APPROACHES

JOHN MACKLER & CO.
STREET WORK
CONTRACTING AND MATERIAL CO.
STREET LIGHTING

SEC. S. DAMEN AVE - 0606 - C. S.

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Historic Bridges of Chicago and Cook County

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Chicago and Cook County are home to one of the largest collections of historic bridges in the country, and no other city in the world has more movable bridges. HistoricBridges.org is proud to offer the most extensive coverage of historic Chicago bridges on the Internet.

General Chicago / Cook County Bridge Resources

Chicago's Bridges - By Nathan Holth, author of HistoricBridges.org, this book provides a discussion of the history of Chicago's movable bridges, and includes a virtual tour discussing all movable bridges remaining in Chicago today. Despite this broad coverage, the book is presented in a compact format that is easy to take with you and carry around for reference on a visit to Chicago. The book includes dozens of full color photos. Only $9.95 U.S! ($11.95 Canadian). Order Now Direct From The Publisher! or order on Amazon.

Chicago River Bridges - By Patrick T. McBriarty, this is a great companion to Holth's book shown above. This much larger book offers an extremely in-depth exploration of Chicago's movable highway bridges, including many crossings that have not existed for many years. Order Now Direct From The Publisher! or order on Amazon.

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Overview of Chicago Bascule Bridges (HAER Data Pages, PDF)

Chicago Loop Bridges - Chicago Loop Bridges is another website on the Internet that is a great companion to the HistoricBridges.org coverage of the 18 movable bridges within the Chicago Loop. This website includes additional information such as connections to popular culture, overview discussions and essays about Chicago's movable bridges, additional videos, and current news and events relating to the bridges.

Additional Online Articles and Resources - This page is a large gathering of interesting articles and resources that HistoricBridges.org has uncovered during research, but which were not specific to a particular bridge listing.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Damen Avenue Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Damen Avenue Bridge

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