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Where & When: Game 52

Greetings, welcome back to another exciting episode of Where & When.  It’s a slow day today, so I took a moment to fill in the doldrums with a “challenging” excerpt from the five boroughs:

Where & When Game 52This picture was taken a year after the subject of this picture was opened for service.  So, I task you to find out where and when this picture was taken, not to mention what it is.  You know the rules; show your work, share your ideas and stories, utilize whatever you prefer to find the answers and the first one with the complete answer will get the icy cold root beer award, while the rest of us who participate get to drink to that person’s health with a frosty cream soda.

Oh, and the bonus ice cream scoop goes to the person who can describe the style of the object or objects in question.

So have at it and we’ll see each other on the game thread.

[photo credit: NYC Bridges]


1 RIYank   ~  May 27, 2014 1:35 pm

It's a drawbridge.
Since it's five boroughs, my guess is the Bronx or Harlem River, probably the former.
Its style is iron :-)
For a year, just based on the quality of photo maybe 1900, but the truck rig makes me think later.

I'll get back on this later, but I bet someone beats me to the fine details.

2 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  May 27, 2014 1:42 pm

I think I have it; looked like a railroad swing bridge. A search for "New York City Swing Bridges" led me to a bridge spotting guide (not much help) but that led to Wikipedia on "movable bridges" and "bascule bridges." That took me to "bridgehunter." The bridgehunter and bascule lead me to the Strauss Bascule Bridge Company of Chicago, so I'm guessing this picture was in or around Chicago. Early 1900's. Found out that Strauss was the engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge, although he did not actually design it.

3 RIYank   ~  May 27, 2014 1:51 pm

I don't think Chicago technically counts as one of the five boroughs...

4 rbj   ~  May 27, 2014 1:52 pm

[1] Ah draw bridge. I had no idea what it was.

drawbridge new york city brought up this image:

which looks to be the same one.

Searching for information on the Bronx drawbridge brought up a lot of noise in the search results with little history. But I did come across this site:
with this sentence:
The three Bronx River Bascules as they were originally constructed, 1909 (Copyright: Bronx Historical Society)
It's the Bronx River. Were you going for Bascules?

Further information on the bridgesnyc page states that the bridge was never given an official name.

5 rbj   ~  May 27, 2014 1:56 pm

My comment is awaiting moderation but it's the Bronx River bridge. No official name. Built in 1908, photo is 1909.

6 RIYank   ~  May 27, 2014 2:07 pm

Wow, nice.
I really like the corkscrew stair on the tower.

Hat tip to Gary, because the Scherzer Rolling Lift is a Chicago design!

7 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  May 27, 2014 2:07 pm

[3] I misread the clues; thought it was taken a year BEFORE it opened. Hence built in Chicago (where coincidentally the Yanks play tonight). Let's go Yan-kees.

8 RIYank   ~  May 27, 2014 2:25 pm

They're playing the Cardinals in Chicago???

9 thelarmis   ~  May 27, 2014 3:29 pm

Didn't the Brewers play a home game in Chicago the other season against a team other than the Cubbies?

I'm headed to work...

Go Phelps-y! GO YANKS!!!

10 rbj   ~  May 27, 2014 4:09 pm

[9] Cleveland had to play three games in Milwaukee one April because there was too much snow in Cleveland.

11 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  May 27, 2014 4:17 pm

[7] Mea culpa. Blame it on the fact that I've been focusing on retirement - FRIDAY!!! The wife says it's not an excuse to watch more NYY baseball, but I say otherwise.

12 Chyll Will   ~  May 27, 2014 5:44 pm

[9] Sounds like Cleveland had a bit of a latitude problem >;)

13 RIYank   ~  May 27, 2014 6:02 pm

Well, it isn't very far from Gary to Chicago!


'Bascule', that's the term Will wanted, I bet. A bascule bridge really is just a drawbridge, though.
I really like that J Cacciola picture. I guess the tower is gone now; I wonder why.

14 Chyll Will   ~  May 27, 2014 6:23 pm

[4] Good job, you get the root beer and the scoop of ice cream. I'll give you credit also for finding the site I referenced without clicking on it.

The Bascule With No Name (literally) is still in service, although not nearly as busy as it once was. The link rbj posted provides some more interesting details. I couldn't find a really great picture to show what the area around it looks like today; the best I could do is a street view on Google Maps from Westchester Avenue when it crosses the Bronx River; the bascules are directly north of that bridge, but obscured from the south and west by an unsightly auto parts junkyard and an oddly located hotel. However, as part of the ongoing recovery/rehab of the Bronx River and its shorelines, there is a park (Starlight Park) that covers both shores north of the bascules, so I'm sure one could get a very direct and close-up view of them from there.

15 Chyll Will   ~  May 27, 2014 6:30 pm

[13] I'm willing to bet because of the diminished train traffic and the encroaching urbanization of the area, they really didn't have a need for the the tower and it began to decay much like the neighboring Westchester Avenue Train Station we featured a while back. I speculate it was torn down as part of the surrounding redevelopment (as it was) or perhaps to discourage squatters. Too bad, it gave the bridge even more character. Now it looks kinda scary (except in this picture!).

16 rbj   ~  May 27, 2014 6:33 pm

[14] Thanks. I have to share with with RIYank, for telling us it was a drawbridge. And yeah, I didn't realize it was the credit site.

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