Wood, Concrete, Stone, and Steel: Minnesota's Historic Bridges

Front Cover
U of Minnesota Press, 2008 - History - 222 pages

Like never before we are aware of the crucial place of bridges in our lives. The spans that warranted little notice are now at the forefront of public and political debate and we are reminded of the rich history-and the uncertain future-of bridging in Minnesota.


Historian Denis P. Gardner documents and celebrates a wide range of the state’s rural and urban spans, telling the remarkable stories of their construction and impact on Minnesota life and culture. From Pratt trusses to bowstring arches, Wood, Concrete, Stone, and Steel describes nearly every bridge type found in Minnesota, including railroad spans, and features more than 225 illustrations of historical and extant bridges. Gardner details the development of engineering and construction innovations (complete with a guide to trusses) and traces the fascinating politics and personalities behind the task of creating and maintaining safe, and often beautiful, crossings.


Through arresting photographs and lively narrative, Gardner makes a compelling argument for the value of preserving our bridges and the cultural heritage they carry and brings to life their importance in Minnesota’s past, present, and future.


Denis P. Gardner is an award-winning historian who has documented properties for the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Engineering Record. He is the author of Minnesota Treasures: Stories behind the State’s Historic Places.


Eric DeLony is former director of the Historic American Engineering Record.



Stone Bridges
Iron and Steel Bridges
Concrete Bridges
Bridge Preservation
Minnesotas Historic Bridges

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