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photo of bridge

1899 photo

photo of bridge photo of bridge
View east into Schenley Park;
1899 photo


OFFICIAL NAME:
Bellefield Bridge

OTHER DESIGNATION:


LOCATION:
Pittsburgh (Oakland)

USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Pittsburgh East - Zone 17; 0589 4477
CARRIED:
motor vehicles

BETWEEN:
--

CROSSED:
-- St. Pierre's Ravine
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION / DESIGN:
stone arch

LENGTH OF MAIN SPAN:
150 ft

TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
341 ft

HEIGHT OF DECK:
100 ft (80 ft wide)

YEAR ERECTED / ENGINEER:
1898, H. B. Rust, City of Pittsburgh
ADDITIONAL INFO:
The Bellefield Bridge still stands at the end of Schenley Plaza between Carnegie Institute (Library and Museums) and Forbes Quadrangle (formerly Forbes Field). But when Grant's Hill in downtown Pittsburgh was excavated to lower the street level 20 to 30 feet, much of the debris was transported to St. Pierre's Ravine. And by 1915, only 17 years after the $112,000 stone arch bridge was constructed, it was covered over. Its fate is shared by the stone arch bridge on Lake Rd in Highland Park

Although the suggestions of Fredrick Law Olmsted were not followed in the redesign of the Schenley Plaza entrance to Schenley Park, his 1911 report was part of the original plans.

Rather than become the grand entrance, the plaza was covered by parking lots. Some attempts have been made to redesign the plaza, but the plans have not yet be realized.

The Frick Fine Arts Building of the University of Pittsburgh was constructed above the filled ravine. In 1911, Pittsburgh City Council sponsored a competition to design a memorial to Mary Schenley who had donated the land for the park. In 1918, the sculpture "Song to Nature" was placed on the location of the buried bridge. Designed by Victor David Brenner, famous for his 1909 portrait of Abraham Lincoln which appears on the US penny, the memorial depicts Pan and represents the yearly regeneration of plant life.



FIELD CHECKED:


INFO SOURCES:
Gay and Evert, "Discovering Pittsburgh's Sculpture"


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Introduction -- Nearby Structures


Page created:
Last modified: 07-Dec-2000

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