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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address: W Burnside St historic name:Burnside Bridge
Portland, Multnomah County current/other names:Bridge #511
assoc addresses:
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr:Spanning the Willamette River at RM 12.7 twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:1S 1E 5
resource type:Structure height (stories): total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:0
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1924 second date:1926 date indiv listed:11/14/2012
primary orig use: TRANSPORTATION: General orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Not Applicable prim style comments:
secondary style: sec style comments:
primary siding: Steel siding comments:
secondary siding:
plan type: Movable Span architect:Kendrick/Kremers/Lindenthal
builder:
comments/notes:
Physical file located in MPS section under Group Name 106 Data: 11/15/2001 Agency DOE: PE - Indiv. Agency FOE: No HPAA SHPO: FOE: Concur
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon Thematic Group Thematic Grouping 1985
   Willamette River Highway Bridges of Portland, OR MPD MPS 11/14/2012 2011
NR date listed: 11/14/2012
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date:
106 Project(s): None
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The Burnside Bridge opened to traffic in May 1926 and spans the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon, at River Mile 12.7, just upstream from the Steel Bridge, within the core of the central commercial district of the city. A steel deck truss with a central, double leaf Strauss bascule, the bridge measures 788 feet long between the abutment walls (i.e., not including the approach spans). The first bascule bridge to rely upon a concrete deck for its movable span, at 5000 tons (according to Wortman, 2000), the Burnside is one of the heaviest bascule bridges constructed in the United States. The Burnside Bridge design was initially the work of Ira G. Hedrick and Robert E. Kremers, with some modification and construction supervision by Gustav Lindenthal. The bridge is owned and maintained by Multnomah County.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Burnside Bridge, a major element in Portland’s multi-bridge bond-funded bridge expansion in the mid-1920s, was completed in May 1926 and is intrinsically linked to the city’s long history of transportation and development. Built following a political controversy over its original contract, the span was designed by Ira G. Hedrick and Robert E. Kremers and then, after their removal from the project, modified and constructed under the direction of Gustav Lindenthal. The Burnside Bridge, located at the center point of Portland’s character-defining geographic street quadrants, remains a key element in the city and continues to function as originally intended, with high integrity with respect to its original design. One of the busiest bridges, in terms of vehicular traffic, in Oregon, the Burnside Bridge was declared a “Regional Emergency Transportation Route” in the mid-1990s. Nominated under the framework of the Willamette River Highway Bridges MPD and built within the middle period of bridge development as defined by that document, the Burnside Bridge is of statewide significance under National Register eligibility Criterion A, Community Planning and Development and Transportation, for its association with the development of Portland and its transportation network between its construction in 1926 and the close of the period of significance for the MPD document in 1973. The Burnside Bridge is also of statewide significance under Criterion C, Engineering, as one of the heaviest bascule bridges in the United States and as the first such bridge to rely upon a concrete deck surface for its movable span. The Burnside Bridge meets all the general and the necessary specific registration requirements for listing under the MPD.
Title Records Census Records Property Tax Records Local Histories
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Obituaries Newspapers State Archives Historic Photographs
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Historical Society: Other Respository:
Bibliography:
ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). Joseph Baermann Strauss (http://www.asce.org/PPLContent.aspx?id=2147487405), visited 25-August-2010. DeLony, Eric. Landmark American Bridges. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Lansing, Jewell. Portland: People, Politics and Power 1851–2001. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2003–2005. MacColl, E. Kimbark. The Growth of a City: Power and Politics in Portland, Oregon 1915–1950. Portland, OR: The Georgian Press, 1979. Oregonian. Misc. issues as cited by date/page in text. Oregon Journal. Misc. issues as cited by date/page in text. Plowden, David. Bridges: The Spans of North America. New York, NY: The Viking Press, 1974. Ritz, Richard Ellison. Architects of Oregon. Portland, OR: Lair Hill Publishing, 2002. Smith, Dwight, James B. Norman and Pieter T. Dykman. Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon (2nd, Revised Ed.). Portland, OR: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1986. Willamette Light Brigade. http://beta.lightthebridges.org/legacy-burnside.htm (visited 22-November-2010). Wood Wortman, Sharon. Burnside Bridge, Historic American Engineering Record [HAER No. OR-101]. Prepared as part of the Willamette River Bridges Recording Project, HAER/Oregon Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Multnomah County, July 2000. Wood Wortman, Sharon, with Ed Wortman. The Portland Bridge Book (3rd Edition). Portland, OR: Urban Adventure Press, 2006.