Sherman Park has four bridges, all concrete arch bridges. At the southern end of the park, the two bridges are faced with stones and pebbles to make them look like rustic stone arch bridges. In contrast, the two bridges at the northern end of the park were designed without stone facing and instead a "marblecrete" technique was used to create concrete arch bridges that are suggestive of marble. Architectural detailing on these bridges was more elaborate and formal. This contrast between rustic and formal bridges at the northern and southern ends of the park was an intentional aspect of the park design as a whole. The stone faced bridges in the park appear to retain good historic integrity. In contrast, the concrete arch bridges have had their original balustrade railings removed and replaced with less exciting parapet walls. Other architectural details have reportedly gone missing according to the nomination form for the park.
The nomination form for the park briefly mentions the northern bridges. A 1905 date is referenced which is presumed to be the approximate construction date. The form also mentions 50 and 60 foot span lengths, although it doesn't say which of two bridges has which span length. Shotcrete applied to the bridges may be partially responsible for the loss of some of the other original architectural details on the bridge including obscuring the unique "marblecrete" appearance of the concrete. Historical photos as seen to the right and below shows that the bridges originally had balustrade railings rather than the solid parapet design seen today.
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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.
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.
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