Friday, November 28, 2014

Congress St. Bridge, Boston

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Here's a slideshow of Boston's Congress St. Bridge, which crosses the Fort Point Channel next to downtown. This lift-span bridge opened in 1930, replacing an earlier swing-span bridge. The bridge underwent a $19M renovation completed in 2008, several million over budget because it was in worse shape than they thought. Although it's also possible the money just sort of "vanished", this being Boston and all.

The bridge's most distinctive feature is the Boston Tea Party museum attached to the bridge, in the center of the channel, with a couple of sailing ships docked to it. The building used to be the bridge tender's house, but the bridge no longer opens, so the house was repurposed as a tourist attraction, basically. Historians disagree as to the exact location of the original tea party, but few claim it was at this exact spot, and furthermore the ships are 20th Century replicas. Still, it has positive Yelp reviews from a lot of tourists who loved the historical reenactors and audience participation stuff. So if you're stuck in Boston with your wingnut Tea Party uncle, this might be a way to keep him occupied for a few hours. Though I don't know whether this would calm him down for a while or wind him up further. There are probably EPA rules against dumping actual tea in the bay these days, so he'll have something to be outraged about.

"Congress Street" is not an unusual street name, so I kept bumping into a couple of other bridges while looking for trivia about this one. The "Congress St. Bridge" Wikipedia article is about a different bridge in Troy, NY. And there's the famous Congress Ave. bridge in Austin, TX, home to a ginormous bat colony.

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