The east face
As seen from the Harrison Street Bridge
Photo taken by J.R. Manning in October 2007
BH Photo #109717
I have been asking for the finials to be replicated (that is if they don't still exist in a basement somewhere) for several years now. It certainly needs to happen to complete the look of this iconic span.
You touched on exactly what makes this bridge unique. By my estimation, the "picture" we get of the past by looking at historic truss bridges today is flawed by two critical types of bridges that largely do not survive today.
1. "Urban" 19th century truss bridges. Most were replaced due to high traffic increases that occurred in cities as motor vehicles became popular. This is what the Wells Street Bridge illustrates.
2. "Lightweight" bridges. I don't believe all bridges were "built to last" (companies even engaged in "skinning the bridge" to make it as cheap as possible) but it follows that most bridges we see today were the bridges that WERE built to last. Rare surviving possible example of this type: https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=k...
Restoring the finials would certainly add even more bling! Having visited this bridge, I can say that pictures can't do it justice...with the heavier members the trusses have a much grander feel than any of the other one-lane spans around Fort Wayne like Bostick Road and Hurshtown, and the incredible ornamentation certainly gives a gateway-like impression to the portals!
Apparently, this bridge's missing knee braces have been replicated and reinstalled onto the bridge. A very nice project for this nationally significant historic bridge, which is one of the few surviving urban pin-connected trusses with all the excesses of urban design (width, decorative elements, etc). I wonder if the city has any plans to "complete the look" with replica finials which are now the only major thing missing to my knowledge.
Currently closed to all traffic tho Iím not sure if closing is permanent.
An article about some history of the bridge: http://historycenterfw.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-oldest-iron-...
There could be some truth to that story. I've heard a similar one except it involved a student in a marching band. Who knows! Stories are born and twisted every day. I wish I still lived in Fort Wayne so I could search the newspaper archives for such a story.
This is indeed the same bridge! The first time i saw it had those barriers and fencing as well. My understanding is that at one time when it was open to pedestrians before it was restored, a jogger fell through the floor of it. It is definitely one of the most ornate spans in existence, and it is nice to see it taken care of. I would like to see them replace or replicate the finials that used to adorn it, but that is just me being picky!
Is this the bridge that was falling apart and had concrete barriers at each end? I remember playing on this bridge as a child. I am very happy with what they've done with it. I remember walking across it with my grandmother and I don't know if I remember correctly, but I think I remember seeing a parade on this bridge when I was very small. Could have been anywhere I guess but I'd like to think it was there.
It is indeed a gem Harold!....I would love to see them replicate and replace the finials that originally adorned it.
I remember this bridge from several years ago when I first visited my sister and her husband, who lived at the end of the bridge on Cass St. A beautiful bridge then, and still a beautiful bridge. I'm glad Fort Wayne had the foresight to save it.
This may well be the most ornate bridge remaining in the United States. It would be nice if the city had the finials that originally topped this bridge replicated.
Wells Street Bridge - access from Superior Street on the south and Wells Street on the north.