Over at The Cool HIstory of Cleveland, Tech Czar’s written terrific mini-history of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge — the site of next year’s festival. The post quotes extensively from a book devoted to the history of the bridge titled appropriately: The History of Veterans Memorial Bridge (90th Anniversary Edition) by William E. Beyer.
It’s really interesting to look at the post-card images and see what’s changed and what hasn’t. If you made it to the 2009 Bridge Project, look at where the trains once emerged from the lower-level of the bridge and became part of the street-scape. One interesting thing for me was how entangled the landscape looked even back then. The bridge actually extends over another bridge underneath it.
Looking at the bridge from both the outside and the inside, many people mistakenly think the bridge was built as part of a WPA project in the 1930’s or that it was part of the Robert Moses driven boom in bridges and tunnels. But it was built in 1917 which predates all of that by more than a decade.
From the post:
The Veterans Memorial Bridge, or the Detroit-Superior Bridge, opened for traffic on Thanksgiving Day in 1917. It was the City’s first “high-level bridge” over the Cuyahoga River. It was designed and built to relieve the significant traffic congestion on the Superior Viaduct. The bridge, in fact, carries two decks. The top deck for car traffic and the bottom deck was built for streetcar traffic. Unfortunately, the second deck has been closed. But at one time it carried some really stunning streetcars underground – only to “pop” back-up on Superior Avenue or Detroit Avenue.
See many more photos and read more here: The Cool History of Cleveland