Irish Bend, Cleveland

From high up above the Flats, looking east, you wouldn’t even notice the huge industrial area down below since the passage of the Clean Air Act and the clearing of old factories and other polluters.

Detroit Publishing Co., Publisher. Industrial buildings, including Stowe-Fuller Company warehouse and Henkel’s Flour mill, along the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio. United States Ohio Cleveland, None. [Between 1900 and 1915] Photograph.

But head down the streets into the valley, and the dense cluster of bridges, curving river and other buildings soon reveals itself.

The boats don’t come up and around Irish Bend much anymore. I think it’s probably pretty obvious how the area got its name.

Detroit Publishing Co., Publisher. The River from the viaduct, Cleveland, Ohio. United States Ohio Cuyahoga River Cleveland, None. [Between 1900 and 1910] Photograph.

I don’t think I’ve seen so many vertical lift bridges in such a small area.

There is still some actual light industry, but the old dirty kind is gone.

At its height, it must have been something to see.

We have to take a look at the massive Detroit Avenue Bridge, now known as the Veterans’ Bridge, which is the main artery connecting west Cleveland to downtown and the east. It is huge.

The beauty of the central span, and just how critical it is to the history of bridge building is perhaps obscured by its neighboring concrete bridge components and other buildings. To see what it looked like while under construction and to see it in a more pure form read this article.

As you can see, it features a lower deck for streetcars.

And back to a bascule bridge.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Beverly Snider says:

    When I look at the old buildings from times past: I think of the movie:
    “ The Age Of Adaline “
    If you haven’t seen it, I see where it’s currently on NETFLIX… When first viewed 8 yrs ago I was amazed. However; anything is possible… Who knows what forces were operating…

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