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Fodor's Chicago 2014
Michigan Avenue Bridge
Michigan Avenue Bridge Review
Chicago is a city of bridges, and this is one of its most graceful. Completed in 1920, it features impressive sculptures on its four pylons representing major Chicago events: its exploration by Marquette and Joliet, its settlement by trader Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the Fort Dearborn Massacre of 1812, and the rebuilding of the city after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The site of the fort, at the southeast end of the bridge, is marked by a commemorative plaque. As you stroll Michigan Avenue, be prepared for a possible delay; the bridge rises some hundred times a year between April and November to allow boat traffic to pass underneath.
McCormick Bridgehouse. Located in the southwest tower of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, this engaging museum provides a glimpse into the history of movable bridges—and some great city views in the process. Until the 1960s, the five-story bridgehouse housed the family of a man hired to tend the bridge. On lift days visitors can see the gears that still raise the bridge put to work. This is the only bridgehouse in Chicago that is open to the public. See the website for a lift schedule—reservations are a good idea. 376 N. Michigan Ave., at Wacker Dr. www.bridgehousemuseum.org. $4, $10 on bridge lift days. Mid-May–Oct., Thurs.–Mon. 10–5.
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