N. Dearborn Street

Historical Summary

Waiting for the Dearborn St bridge during a spring boat run to Lake Michigan

The 1834 North Dearborn Street Bridge was the first movable bridge built in Chicago. This bridge turned out to be an unreliable nuisance that was dismantled in 1839.

There was no crossing at North Dearborn Street until 1888, when the existing Wells Street swing bridge was floated up river and installed at Dearborn Street. In 1907, a Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge replaced the old swing bridge. This 1907 bridge was replaced by the current bridge.

The single bridge tender house is on the SE corner of the bridge. This bridge was an AISC award winner.

Plaque commemorating the first bridge at N Dearborn St