The Paddock Viaduct: Translating Specs Into Spectacular

On September 25, 1912 this classified ad appeared in the Star-Telegram:

paddock bids 9-25-12 stThe county announced that it was accepting construction bids for the “Main street viaduct” based on specifications by civil engineers Brenneke & Fay of St. Louis. The viaduct, of course, would later be named for civic leader B. B. Paddock. The other bridge in the 1912 ad was the West 7th Street Bridge, which was replaced in 2013.

1908 FW Iron Bridge Flood-800x511x600The new Main Street bridge replaced an iron bridge over the river. In this photo people stand on the iron bridge during the flood of 1908. Beyond the bridge are the courthouse and the county jail. (From Pete Charlton’s “1000+ Lost Antique Maps of Texas & the Southwest on DVD-ROM.”)

The dry, soulless language of that 1912 classified ad gives no hint of what “seven 50-foot girder spans, three 62-foot 6-inch girder spans, one 150-foot arch span, two 173-foot arch spans and one 225-foot arch span” would look like when completed and opened to traffic on July 3, 1914.

The construction firm Hannan, Hickey Brothers, also of St. Louis, won the contract with a bid of $373,948.65 ($8.9 million today).

Those St. Louis boys did good work, wouldn’t you say?

bridge paddock reflection 2bridge paddock reflection 3

bridge paddock nightreflection bridge paddock blue moon

yellow paddocknightshade paddock 2

glass paddock courthousebridge paddock courthousesmall white paddockpaddock view electricOne landmark seen from another landmark: the old power plant (1913) from the viaduct.

paddock underBeneath the viaduct.

power under archArch with the power plant beyond.

paddock marker

paddock plaque 2The viaduct was renovated in 1988.

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Posted in Architecture, Downtown, Downtown, All Around, Life in the Past Lane, Rollin' on the River | 4 Comments