Thursday, September 27, 2012

Starucca Viaduct

The Starucca viaduct is a beautiful stone archway bridge that spans across the sleepy town of Lanesboro, Pennsylvania. Built between 1847-1848 the bridge has stood as a testament of time as well as craftsmanship. The bridge was built as a crosswalk between two mountains. Another plan was to re-route the train tracks, but that deemed to be a more hazardous route.

 At its time of completion it was considered the largest stone viaduct in the mid 19th century, it was also considered to be the most expensive railroad bridge in the World. The grandiose overpass was constructed mainly of bluestone from the local quarries in the area. It also incorporated concrete bases to help support the towering trestle. This may have been the first time that concrete was used in the supporting of an American bridge.

The Starucca viaduct has been recognized as both a National historical, and engineering landmark.   It has also been mentioned in numerous works of literature, as well as been depicted in many artworks. Seeing the serene beauty that surrounds this graceful bridge it's not difficult to become a bit more creative or at least a tad more at peace.

Video look at the Starucca viaduct

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tunkahannock Viaduct

As you approach the small town of Nicholson, Pennsylvania, it's not hard to miss the massive man-made marvel which put the community on the map. Towering 240 feet above the borough, and stretching nearly a 1/2 mile long, the Tunkahannock viaduct is an amazing feat of engineering. Amazingly half the construction of the bridge is located underground, which only gives us a glimpse into the massive severity of this structure and the craftsmanship that went into it's building.

Opened to operations in 1915, the railroad bridge was at that time, the largest concrete bridge in the United States. Concrete was a rather new method of construction at the time, and many doubted the structure's integrity. Well for another 50 years the bridge continued to maintain its noteriety as the largest in the U.S. and was even considered to be the 9th wonder of the World by some. In 1977 the bridge was placed on the National registry of historic places.

Today the viaduct is still in use, helping to transport goods through northern Pennsylvania, as well as southern New York. And the bridge still serves as an essential component to tourism in a tiny mountain town in northeast Pennsylvania. Driving into the area as you witness the quiet town in the foreground, the massive infrastructure nearly takes your breath away.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Martin's Creek Viaduct

In the tiny town of Kingsley, Pennsylvania sits a man made marvel. Spanning 1600 feet over the Martin's creek the Kingsley bridge is quite an engineering feat. The concrete structure consists of 10 arches, the highest being 150 feet.

The viaduct was built between 1912-14 and was completed one year ahead of schedule. Construction came during the Summit cutoff, a major overhaul of the local tracks done by the Delaware-Lackawanna & Western railroad. The new construction of several viaducts in the area would cut the traveling time of trains traveling from Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania to Hallstead, Pennsylvania. Marin's creek viaduct is often considered the little brother of the Tunkahannock.  The structure is quite impressive to see, though it does pale in comparison to the local Tunkahannock viaduct.

 The viaduct was important enough to our country that it was guarded from attack during World War 1. Troops slept in the swampy marshes surrounding the area, in order to protect this historical structure.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Victorian Home on the Roof in Syracuse, New York

Along interstate 81 in Syracuse, New York keep your eyes peeled for a home atop an old manufacturing facility. The old Pennfield manufacturing company was a Syracuse staple for many years. The company was famous for it's production of therapeutic mattresses. But before that the industrial building housed the manufacturing plant of Moyer Carriages. In fact H.A. Moyer designed the complex with the 2 1/2 story Victorian home resting on top of the roof. The company began production in 1880, and the house on top of the factory has been nearly a mystery ever since.

Stories around town claimed Mr. Moyer's wife was not thrilled with having to move out of her home to relocate to Syracuse. To keep his wife happy Mr. Moyer had their home moved to the top of his work. Others around town had stories that weren't quite as romantic.

In a 1937 newspaper interview a family member revealed that the home has never been inhabited and contains nothing but machinery to operate an elevator and rafters for the structure. The house was designed as an architectural gimmick. Mr. Moyer was even said to have raised one of his carriages onto the roof to attract attention to his latest model. The Moyer Carriage manufacturing facility once consisted of four buildings, each with a Victorian home perched on top. Today the one along North Salina street is the only one remaining. Unfortunately the building has sat empty since 2005 so no one's certain how much longer it will remain a quirky Syracuse attraction.