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Strawberry Mansion Bridge

Fairmount Park Trolley Bridge

Strawberry Mansion Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: May 31, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Strawberry Mansion Drive Over Schuylkill River and Various Streets
Philadelphia: Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal Three-Hinged Solid Ribbed Spandrel Braced Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Rivet-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1897 By Builder/Contractor: Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Theodore Cooper

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
200 Feet (61 Meters)
Structure Length
1,242 Feet (378.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
32.2 Feet (9.81 Meters)
4 Main Span(s) and 6 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

Additional HAER Documentation For Bridge

View A Historical Article About This Bridge

The Strawberry Mansion Bridge is a beautiful structure that along with other historic bridges along historic Fairmount Park, help make the park the unique asset to the city that it is. The bridge is a contributing structure to the Fairmount Park National Historic District. The bridge is extremely significant as a larger, early, and rare example of a spandrel braced metal deck arch bridge. The bridge retains ornate original railings. For a detailed history of this bridge and a discussion of its significance, be sure to read the HAER documentation for the bridge.

This bridge has been very nicely maintained and rehabilitated by the City of Philadelphia. Pennsylvania's two largest cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh both do a great job maintaining many of their historic bridges, a sharp contrast to the rampant demolition of historic bridges that goes on elsewhere in the state, where the fate of historic bridges is largely in the hands of PennDOT. The fact that a bridge like the Strawberry Mansion Bridge stands today in good condition and in a state of preservation calls into question PennDOT's policy that nearly all of Pennsylvania's historic bridges cannot efficiently and feasibly be rehabilitated for continued vehicular use.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 10 span, 1,242'-long, steel bridge is composed of three, 3 hinge arch spans and 7 spans of approach deck trusses. Detailed metal railings are present on each side of the bridge. The bridge is a technologically significant example of its type and design, and it is a contributing resource to the character and historical development of Fairmount Park. It originally carried vehicular and street railway traffic.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The Strawberry mansion bridge carries a 4 lane road over the Schuylkill River and Kelly and West River Drives in Fairmount Park, a NR-listed district. The bridge is currently closed to traffic [back in 1996].

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes, Contributing To Historic District


Photo Galleries and Videos: Strawberry Mansion Bridge

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