Photos courtesy of Ben Tate at bridgehunter.com
One of the highly recommended stops while bridgehunting is the town of Pana in Christian County, Illinois. The town of 5,230 inhabitants is nicknamed the City of Roses, for many of the florists started their business there in the 19th and early 20th centuries. At its peak, over 109 greenhouses had existed there. Pana was also a coal mining site and the place where the Pana riots occurred in April 1899.
Pana has two sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places; Kitchell Park is one of them and this is where we have our Mystery Bridge. The bridge features a curved arch span spanning a small pond. The spandrels are molded inwards with the ribs being arched. The bridge has beautiful concrete ballustrades which lines the arched decking. The pillars on each end are ornamental and feature finials that resemble Holy Grail Cups in XXXL, although they are mainly used for flowers. The park and its bridge can be seen from Fair Avenue, the town’s main street.
The bridge was built in 1910 according to the inscription at the center of the span. Yet it is unknown who built the structure, nor do we know the bridge’s dimensions, although judging by the appearance, it’s between 40 and 60 feet long from pillar to pillar and only six feet wide. The bridge was presented to the city in 1913 by Mayor Henry Newton Schuyler (1843-1933), who served for 14 terms at his post. Therefore the bridge is also called the Schuyler Bridge and sometimes the Kitchell Bridge given its location in the park.
Now it’s your turn. What do we know about the bridge in terms of its exact dimensions? And who designed and built this beautiful white structure? Feel free to provide us with some information about this bridge, either in the comment section or in the comment section in bridgehunter.com. Your bridge matters, let’s find out who was the artist behind this bridge, shall we? 🙂