South Elevation, Looking Northeast
For more about the history and significance of the bridges in Lakeside Park, see the essay under the Bridge Hunter listing for the Fountain Island Bridge.
Photo taken by J.R. Manning in December 2008
BH Photo #130460
Architectural & Engineering Significance: The Lakeside Park Bridge in the City of Fond du Lac is a single-span, filled-spandrel, reinforced-concrete barrel-arch bridge. Overall structure length is 100 ft. Overall width is 33.42 ft. The arch span is 60 ft. with a rise of almost 8 ft., giving the structure an aesthetically-pleasing, low rise-to-span ratio. The railings and abutments are stone-faced with artificial stone copings on the railings, and decorative urns at the four corners. The outside faces of the spandrel walls are bush-hammered concrete. It is a well-preserved example of the stone-faced concrete design typical of Charles Whitney (1892-1959) and similar in concept, but not in surface treatment, to Whitney's 1939 Highland Avenue Bridge (P-45-703) in Cedarburg, Ozaukee County. The Highland Avenue Bridge exhibits rougher, more medieval-revival stone treatment, in contrast to the Lakeside Park Bridge, which has neo-classical elements.
Historical Significance: The Lakeside Park Bridge was designed by Charles S. Whitney and built by J. Rasrnussen & Sons for the city park board in 1927. Clearly a bridge of special aesthetic appeal was desired for this location, a central site in the park and very close to the lake. The original newspaper announcement of the project referred to the new structure as an "ornamental lagoon bridge." Today, a small metal-bowstring-truss, now a pedestrian bridge, stands near this representative Whitney park bridge of the 1920s. Together they create a compact and highly visible bridge exhibit, open to the public all year.
[Note: This document was prepared by Jeffrey A. Hess and Robert M. Frame III for the Wisconsin DOT. It is part of a project that was launched by the Wisconsin DOT in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration. It was published by the Wisconsin DOT in 1986, in a report entitled Historic Highway Bridges in Wisconsin, Volume 1.]