Monday, August 19, 2019

Bridges over Walker Avenue

In a previous post, we discussed the decision to close Walker Avenue, which at one time, ran east-west through the middle of campus. This necessitated the demolition of the College Avenue bridge that carried traffic safely over busy Walker Avenue. This post will explore some of the images of those bridges through time.

Some of the earliest extant images of the bridge crossing Walker Avenue only show it from far away.
1905 view of campus 
In this first image, the iron bridge can just be seen in the center of the image.
Detail of bridge from 1905 view of campus
This close up image of the bridge from the 1914 Carolinian yearbook cryptically labels it "The Bridge of Sighs." The image also shows some of the details of the bridge, such as its walkway guardrails outside of the center lane, which may have been reserved for vehicular traffic, as well as the iron superstructure.
1914 Carolinian yearbook
An alternative perspective of the iron bridge is shown in this 1925 postcard taken from the Walker Avenue vantage point.
1925 Postcard 
The iron bridge would stand until 1928 when it was replaced with a much more comely concrete bridge.1

1928 Photograph of the new concrete bridge

1940 photograph of concrete bridge taken from Walker Avenue perspective
When the campus and city of Greensboro agreed to close Walker Avenue, The land had to be filled in where Walker Avenue cut through campus. In the following photograph, students observe the process in front of a new manhole located at the new grade.

1949 Photograph of Walker Avenue and bridge during regrading process

In this final photograph, student Oriana McArthur and Dr. Walter Clinton Jackson look at the new library under construction from the bridge. The bridge would be demolished soon in 1950. As can be seen from the photograph, the former Walker Avenue has been partially filled in to form the foundation of the library.

1949 photograph of Library under construction from the bridge

1-Elisabeth Ann Bowles, A Good Beginning: The First Four Decades of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro p.92

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