Clarence Darrow Memorial Bridge
View from northwest
Photo taken by Roger Deschner in March 2018
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
BH Photo #419199
Dilapidated, historic bridge is currently closed to all traffic due to deterioration, including some structural members with total section loss. It was closed to car traffic in 2009, and to pedestrians in 2014 barricaded with wrought iron fencing. Walkway underneath west end of bridge remains open. Planned replacement delayed by NRHP historic reviews.
The original bridge at this location was an arched deck truss, built in 1880 by famed architects Burnham & Root. (Photo of 1880 bridge at historicbridges.org link below.) That bridge was retained and incorporated into the World Columbian Exposition. Remains of its abutments still visible, underneath the current bridge, which was built in 1895 (builder unknown) as part of the project to convert the former fair site into Jackson Park. This 1895 bridge uses steel stringers, supporting a modified jack-arch deck that is smooth on its underside.
The bridge is named in honor of noted lawyer Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), who lived nearby, and whose ashes were scattered from the bridge into the lagoon when he died. Darrow's ghost is reputed to haunt the area around the bridge, especially when his passing is marked annually on March 13 at 10:00AM with a ceremonial wreath laying and seance at the bridge.
- Steel stringer bridge over Jackson Park North Lagoon on Columbia Drive
- Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
- Intact but closed to all traffic
- Future prospects
- Scheduled for replacement, but that has become controversial.
- Original bridge built 1880; this bridge built 1895; closed to vehicles 2009; closed to pedestrians 2014
- - Burnham & Root
- Daniel H. Burnham
- Steel stringer, supporting jack-arch deck
Span length: 56.0 ft.
Total length: 56.0 ft.
Deck width: 56.0 ft.
Listed as a contributing resource to the Jackson Park Historic Landscape District and Midway Plaisance
- Also called
- Columbia Drive Bridge
North Pond Bridge
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +41.78842, -87.58281 (decimal degrees)
41°47'18" N, 87°34'58" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 16/451573/4626449 (zone/easting/northing)
- Inventory number
- BH 80703 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- December 28, 2020: Updated by Roger Deschner: Updated delayed rebuilding plans, and added photos
- March 11, 2018: Added by Roger Deschner