Rating:
3 votes

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge

Photos 

Section of decorative railing on East side

Photo taken by Anthony Dillon in August 2010

Enlarge

BH Photo #171987

Map 

Description 

This was reportedly a very old cast iron arch pedestrian bridge that dated back to the early days of the park. It appears to have been possibly cut out with a torch, as there are remnant post bases on the West side and part of a railing section on the East. The remaining foundation is cut stone.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Iron arch bridge over Spring overflow on Path
Location
Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana
Status
Replaced by a replica span in 2013
History
Removed ca. 1999, replaced by a replica span in February 2013
Design
Cast iron pedestrian bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.83539, -84.86735   (decimal degrees)
39°50'07" N, 84°52'02" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/682486/4411663 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Paris
Inventory number
BH 45822 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Arch (11,262)
Deck arch (10,499)
Indiana (4,200)
Iron arch (9)
Lost (18,931)
Lost 1999 (410)
Lost during 1990s (3,716)
Replaced by new bridge (12,561)
Richmond, Indiana (21)
Wayne County, Indiana (103)

Update Log 

  • April 19, 2016: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • February 14, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Updated entry to show that the bridge has been replaced with a replica span.
  • December 10, 2012: New photo from Luke Harden
  • August 6, 2010: Added by Anthony Dillon

Sources 

Comments 

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 18, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am glad to see the discussion that this bridge has sparked. It is interesting to see all of the different opinions among us Bridgehunters.

Can we save every bridge over 50 years old? No, and I do not think we should try to. Replacing a 50 year old UCEB with a new UCEB is fine by me.

In recent years, we have seen a large number of UCEBS with nice features. Ie, decorative railings, fake stone plyons, statues, bas-reliefs, decorative lamp posts, light shows, etc. I don't mind UCEBs with "UCEB makeup". They really do not bother me. In fact, such UCEB makeup can add a little interest to an otherwise mundane structure. The nice railings on the new bridge in this instance serve such a purpose. I just don't think that UCEB makeup should be portrayed as an in-kind replacement.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 15, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

WOW!, I certainly would have never guessed that the ruins of this little span I decided to add to BH would create such a maelstrom!

The bottom line here is that we can debate the issue til the cows come home...and it will still come down to a matter of opinion. The vast majority of visitors to this park would never understand what we are disagreeing about...nor probably would they care. They would simply see an old footbridge that was removed for whatever reason, only to later be replaced with a new one. They likely wouldn't understand the historic significance of the original structure, or why some of us think it should have been replaced with a more authentic looking replica. Indeed, some of us bridge enthusiasts are a passionate bunch that think NO historic spans should ever be replaced. However, we have to be realistic about it and understand that bridges will be lost. So when a situation like this occurs where an attempt is made to replace with a "aesthetic likeness", we expect nothing less than a near carbon copy.

So is a vastly different looking replacement span a demon seed? Although I would personally like to see more effort taken to replicate "in-kind", I pull up short of saying the new bridge is totally bad. The historic bridge is gone, and not even an exact replica can change that fact.

It's that fact which makes me want to focus more energy on trying to keep the historic bridges standing...and less on what they are replaced with.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 15, 2013, by Nathan Holth

I agree with Roberts comments. And regarding cost if they were short of money they should have went with a more simple railing. In my view the railings they used almost insult the historic bridge, the way they sort of look like the old ones yet are so different and simple. My view is that an exact or at least very close replica is ok if preservation its not possible. But if that is not possible please do not insult the craftsmanship of those who built the historic bridge with a cheap knock off and create a false sense of history.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 15, 2013, by julie bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Guess that is where a subset happens, the pictures of the What Happened? But not as the main picture of a new bridge where the original doesn't exist anymore. Same applies to all of these.

Its a design issue James.

Parks Rec notwithstanding, they could have done some research and asked some questions,...

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 15, 2013, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

I wouldn't classify it as architecturally significant, but I also wouldn't classify it as "the most fugly bridge on the planet" either.

I'm willingly to make the conjecture that this was the best that they could do under their circumstances.

Parks and Rec departments typically get the short end of the budgetary stick, so the replica was likely the BEST that they could do.

(Who knows, maybe the original parts are locked in a shed somewhere until they have the funds to get a legit replica made.)

Is the replica an architectural novel? Hardly? Is it historic? No, it's new. Is it /REALLY/ as bad as it seems some of you are making it out to be? Not at all.

(also: Sorry anon that complained about these sort of things happening.)

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 15, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Luke:

I never claimed that you called the bridge historic. If we consider the replacement to be architecturally significant, then the next logical step is to consider a MOB to be an appropriate replacement for a pin-connected truss.

I actually have no problem with new bridges. They are necessary and functional. I just cringe when I see one that is built under the guise of being a form of mitigation for the destruction of a significant bridge. This includes bridges with fake stone pylons, etc.

Just my $0.02. Peace.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 15, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

If they had to demolish the old bridge, I would just as soon see a UCEB with New Jersey barriers, than the current structure.

This replacement is not historic, and in my opinion should not be portrayed as such.

After Soldier Field in Chicago was redone, I fully supported its removal from the NRHP (sorry Bears fans). The new Soldier Field has been redone so heavily, that it bears little resemblance to the old structure. It is no longer historically significant, save for being a war memorial.

I feel the same way about this bridge. The substructure was the most structurally significant part of the old bridge, and it is gone now. The replacement is just a plain stringer with a couple layers of makeup.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 15, 2013, by julie bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Can not be called Cast Iron anymore....How about Glen Miller Park Modern Footbridge.

I don't agree that trying is enough. Not anymore.

Rather like Sutliff only it cost way less to us taxpayers.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

The fact that they at least made SOME effort to replicate the bridge AT ALL is good, in my opinion, because I'd rather have had them build an "At least they TRIED" "replica" span than just built a 2X4 bridge, or even worse, just left the space bare.

It's not exactly a win, but it's not exactly a loss either.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I had seen this little bridge many times and had crossed it as well. I'm not sure what was behind it's demise but it was definitely unfortunate.

The replacement is a mixed bag. It's obvious that no effort was made to replicate the original structure, and the railings look like something that could be ordered out of a catalog.

Yes, they could have simply left a gaping hole there and perhaps they were working on a limited budget... But I have seen way too many good replications to be completely satisfied here.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Like I said, a replica span (even though it's not a "100000%" true to original replica) is still ∞ better than no bridge at all, considering they very well could have just taken out what was left and scrapped it and not built anything in its place at all.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Take a real close look at the new bridge. I would hardly call this a replica and its certainly not historic, and I am not impressed in the least bit. They failed to properly copy the railing design, and the decorative arch is omitted. Its just a steel stringer on old abutments with modern railing vaguely looking like the historic bridge. Worse, they destroyed the couple beautiful cast iron railing posts that remained and replaced them with modern posts that are much more plain looking.

Replicating cast iron elements and ornate railing panels is all too easy. Indiana has many replicated truss bridge plaques. Chicago has replicated ornate railing panels.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

I wouldn't say it's historic, considering it's new/a replica, but still neat.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by julie bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Is that replica then historic?

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

A pretty replica span is at least better than no bridge at all.

I really like the decorative railings.

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted February 14, 2013, by Jane Holman (jane [at] waynet [dot] org)

This bridge has been replaced (February 2013) with a replica. View a photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waynet/8468340515/in/pool-wayne...

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted December 9, 2012, by Anonymous

WOW!

Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted December 6, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)
Glen Miller Park Cast Iron Bridge
Posted December 5, 2012, by Anonymous

Looks like it was a real beauty.