clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Tour of Iconic U.S. Bridges, from Pittsburgh to San Francisco

New, 13 comments

All month long in October 2015, Curbed and National Trust for Historic Preservation are teaming up on #ThisPlaceMatters, a social campaign highlighting the most beloved places across America. Our motto at Curbed is "love where you live," which ties in succinctly with the National Trust's mission to highlight everyday buildings and places alongside those officially earmarked for historic preservation. We're looking to you, our readers, to submit photos of your favorite places—along a different theme each week—via Instagram and Twitter by tagging them with #ThisPlaceMatters. Don't forget to tag Curbed (@curbed) and the National Trust (@savingplaces) in your photos, too. This week's theme: Bridges

When you think about places with iconic bridges, Pittsburgh probably doesn't come to mind; after all, none of the city's bridges are world-famous and no Steel City span was designed by a starchitect. But Pittsburgh, as a city of rivers, hills, and ravines, is a city of bridges. With 446 crossings, Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in the country. Most of the bridges are like the city itself, understated and often overlooked, but they find a way to mark your experience of Pittsburgh, whether you're a first-time visitor coming out of the tunnel onto the Fort Pitt Bridge to have the skyline explode before you or you're a lifelong Pirates fan who stood on the Roberto Clemente Bridge with hundreds of others to watch the Buccos win their first playoff game in 21 years.

For me, as a Pittsburgh native and University of Pittsburgh graduate, bridges were a constant, unnoticed, delightful presence. The Highland Park Bridge, a steel spandrel truss crossing built in 1938, marked every trip to the zoo, or to work with my mom. The Veterans Bridge, an unremarkable highway span, marked every drive into Downtown (peering out the window to catch the Wholey's fish and neon Heinz ketchup sign were my favorite part of the drive as a kid). The Hot Metal Bridge, a long-neglected 128-year-old span that was finally given new life, was our college student gateway from Oakland to the South Side. The Roberto Clemente Bridge, one of the bright yellow, nearly identical Three Sisters connecting Downtown and the North Side, was our walkway to every Pitt football game and Pirates game.

These bridges may not be landmarks, but even utilitarian structures deserve to be feted, and there's no denying that these are places that matter. So, for maybe the first time ever, let's put Pittsburgh's bridges right up there with the Golden Gate, the Roebling Bridge, and more icons across America.

· This Place Matters: 10 U.S. Bars & Restaurants to Know [Curbed]
This Place Matters: 10 Gorgeous Religious Buildings Across the U.S. [Curbed]
#ThisPlaceMatters: Touring Historic Theaters Across the U.S. [Curbed]
#ThisPlaceMatters, a Celebration of Personal Landmarks Across America [Curbed]
10 Instagrams of Beloved Personal Landmarks Across America [Curbed]
Curbed Is Helping Us Celebrate #ThisPlaceMatters! [National Trust for Historic Preservation]
This Place Matters: A Reflection (and Gallery) on Humble Places We Love [National Trust for Historic Preservation]