In an excellent online post for the Providence Journal, photographer Sandor Bodo notes the demise and, more recently, the removal of the last wooden river bridge in Providence. It is called “Documenting the fall of Providence’s last wooden river bridge,” and includes a video that shows its demolition in December and many historical photographs.
Sandor interviews Rick Greenwood, the late historian at the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, about the role the 40-foot bridge – the Railroad Crossing Street Bridge, which tee’d at Canal Street – played along the Moshassuck River. The bridge was built in 1856 and is seen in photos of Rhode Island troops marching off to join the Union cause in 1861, not to mention shots of the activity around the rail yard nearby, with commerce centering at the brick North Freight Station, built in 1847, that burned down in the early 1980s. Like the Union Depot also built in 1847 but razed and then replaced by Union Station in the late 1890s, the warehouse that lived so much longer than its more well remembered brother was designed by Thomas Tefft, who died very young.
The post by Sandor and his collaboration with Rick are “must-see TV” for Providence history and transportation buffs. I doff my cap to Lee Juskalian for sending it.
I used to regularly riffle past an engrossing photo of the North Freight Station on fire as I searched over three decades through the Journal’s photo archives. The closest I’ve come online are the two images here, one atop this post of the freight warehouse’s design by Tefft, and the other, below, of land cleared along North Main Street for the Roger Williams Memorial Park east of Canal Street, the foreground of which includes the warehouse in a dilapidated condition not long before it burned down.
[I just thought of taking screen shots of Sandor’s video, which I post below.]