Leeper Park bridge

Leeper Park bridge
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My hometown of South Bend, Indiana, has many lovely bridges. This one, built in 1914, carries Michigan Street, the city’s main street, over the St. Joseph River. That road was US 31 for many years.

This bridge borders beautiful Leeper Park, which is a historic landmark. My mother grew up in the well-to-do neighborhood behind the park to the southwest and spent many hours here as a girl.

The lights on the bridge are replicas of the lights installed when the bridge was new, and were added sometime in the last 20 years. The original lights were removed before I was born. During the years I grew up in South Bend, the bridge had no lights.


4 responses to “single frame: Leeper Park bridge”

  1. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    Bridges used to be beautiful. I feel newer ones have become simply utilitarian.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This bridge in particular was part of a city plan drafted by George Kessler, a proponent of the City Beautiful movement. That movement’s aim was to make cities not be utilitarian places.

      In modern times, the steel stringer bridge hits that sweet spot between cost to build and cost to maintain. It’s what gets built in most circumstances. But those bridges are super plain.

  2. Dan Cluley Avatar
    Dan Cluley

    I was pleasantly surprised last week when I discovered that our county has replaced an old girder bridge with a nice retro looking pony truss.

    Columbia road over Grand River in Ingham Co MI.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Wonderful. I’ve seen some modern pony-truss-style bridges in Ohio too.

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