The second Town Street Bridge, a closed spandrel concrete arch bridge,
crossed the Scioto River at this location from 1921 to 2009. The bridge
was designed by the firm of Braun, Fleming and Knollman, and was built
by the D. W. McGrath and Sons Company.
It replaced an iron truss bridge that was destroyed by the Great Flood of
1913. Many concrete arch bridges were built in Columbus and other Ohio
cities after the devastating flood because earlier examples of concrete
arch bridges had withstood the raging waters.
After the flood, the River Channel Improvement Project was implemented
to rebuild bridges and to control future flooding with new reservoirs,
levees, and restraining walls. In the 1920s and 1930s new buildings were
constructed to form the Civic Center, including Central High School (now
COSI), City Hall, the Central Police Center, the State Office Building (now
the Judicial Center), and the Federal Court House and Post Office.
The Broad Street and Towne Street Bridges were parallel structures that
connected the Civic Center on opposite banks of the Scioto River. The
Neoclassical-style bridges with their wide arches and urn shaped balusters
were harmonious with the unified classical look of the Civic Center.
The Civic Center Historic District was determined in 1988 to be historically
eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
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