Transportation Tuesday: Pittsburgh Bridges

Thanks to reader Ms. S. for pointing out Pittsburgh’s distinction as the Bridge City. When I had suggested Cleveland as a contender (see my post on the bridges of Cleveland and the boat tour that highlights them) Ms S. quickly replied that Pittsburgh’s 3 rivers easily trounces Cleveland’s one. Add the mountainous terrain of western Pennsylvania, and its no wonder that Pittsburgh has over 400 bridges to its name. My brother Mr. F has always been a big fan of Pittsburgh and the 1877 Duquesne Incline, another technological marvel designed to help humans navigate the environment.

The 1932 George Westinghouse Memorial Bridge on the Lincoln Highway at Pittsburgh.

My experience in downtown Pittsburgh is limited to a rush hour dalliance during our 2005 Lincoln Highway trip. My friend Mrs. G. and I were retracing the 1913 route (what was left of it) from Beaver Falls into Pittsburgh, and once we got into the city, our 1924 map was giving us a bit of trouble and we ended up on an interstate in rush hour. (Note: Lincoln Highway rules: interstates bad, dirt roads good!). I don’t even have any photographs of that part of the trip; Pittsburgh seemed to empty at 5pm. The coffee shop we stopped at had turned over its chairs on the tables and was counting up the change in the till.

The website Bridges and Tunnels of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, PA. There are several self-guided tours of bridges on the website and posts news about threatened historic bridges. It’s a nice tool for learning more about the Pittsburgh area built environment.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.