C.F. SCHWEINFURTH: BRIDGE 54
Updated: Feb 29, 2020
In previous articles published in The Beacon, we learned that famed architect Charles Frederick Schweinfurth (1856-1919) was responsible for the Edgewater mansions that graced the Glenmere and Urnwood estates of Senator Marcus Hanna and Mr. Leonard Hanna, respectively. We also learned that both of those magnificent residences were demolished early in the twentieth century to make way for the development of the Edgewater neighborhood we know today. What we did not learn in those articles, though, was that Mr. Schweinfurth still maintains a subtle but significant presence in the greater Edgewater neighborhood -- a masonry presence that you have undoubtedly passed by innumerable times without any awareness of its origins or significance. The masonry presence of which I write is Bridge 54, the impressive stone railroad bridge that crosses over West Boulevard between Baltic Avenue and Detroit Avenue.
Bridge 54 was built in 1897 by the Mt. Vernon Bridge Works, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
It was built for the Lake Shore and Southern Michigan Rail Road which, as you may recall, was discussed in the article about the railroad company’s president, Daniel W. Caldwell.
In 1897, Mr. Caldwell was president of the railroad and lived in his Shoreland estate mansion on Lake Avenue. As such, the connections of that masonry bridge to the Greater Edgewater neighborhood are greater than its mere proximity to the neighborhood. It also has connections through Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Schweinfurth.