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December Skyline

DECEMBER SKYLINE – The Cleveland Flats is home to dozens of bridges, many of them dating back to the early 20th Century. One such is the Lorraine Carnegie (Hope Memorial) which features the iconic eight Guardians of Transportation. This wintry shot featuring the city skyline only appeared for a couple of minutes as the sunlight cut through the early morning clouds. As if on que birds added the final touch.

Detroit Superior Subway Level

DETROIT SUPERIOR SUBWAY LEVEL – Up until 1954 Cleveland actually had a short run subway which used trolley cars of the Red Line Transit System. It started on the East bank of the Cuyahoga, traversed the river on the lower level of the Detroit-Superior bridge and ended at the W. 25th St. Station. The subway is long gone and that part of the bridge is closed but twice each year it is opened for pedestrian tours.

Detroit Superior A.M.

DETROIT SUPERIOR A.M. – Standing near the Federal Building Plaza this early morning view of the Detroit Superior shows it crossing the Cuyahoga to the West Side of Cleveland. Adjacent commuter rail tracks can be seen coming into the Terminal Tower.

Flats Geometry

FLATS GEOMETRY – Depending upon viewpoint it is possible to create many unique compositions of stacks, bridge beams and other elements when photographing the Flats. I’ve studied many locations for years, exploring the different moods afforded by early morning or late afternoon light. Here the stacks of the old powerhouse are framed by the upright B&O Railroad Bridge.

Innerbelt & Carnegie Bridges

INNERBELT & CARNEGIE – The old Innerbelt and Hope Memorial bridges can be seen from the 16th floor of the AT&T building in this 2007 photo. The former structure has now been replaced but it provides wonderful framing for the storm rolling in from the West. Looking closely the Guardians of Transportation pylons can be seen in the bottom center of the picture.

Innerbelt with Norfolk & Southern RR Bridge

INNERBELT With NORTHFOLK & SOUTHERN RR BRIDGE – An October sunrise framed this 2007 picture of the N&S Railway Trestle helping frame the old interstate bridge. Shot from the Loraine Carnegie bridge gravel mounds from Ontario Stone can also be seen in the foreground.

Hanging Girders

HANGING GIRDERS – I still worked at AT&T while the new innerbelt bridge was being built. This afforded me early morning and late afternoon light as I went to and from my office. The construction patterns I saw were endless and many lent themselves to abstract compositions. Taken early in the morning this image lent itself to a b/w conversion of intersecting beams, highlights and shading.

Innerbelt Bridge Demolition

INNERBELT BRIDGE DEMOLITION – In order to build one of the new bridges, the prior structure had to be removed since it sat in the old footprint. Explosives were used but it couldn’t be just blown up. Spanning the busy Cuyahoga River channel it had to be dismantled in a way that would not interfere with river traffic. Welders made hundreds of surgical cuts in the beams so that when the explosives were detonated the beams and deck would fall straight down in a controlled manner.

Westbound Innerbelt Bridge Cranes

WESTBOUND INNERBELT BRIDGE CRANES – Bridge building is a bustle of activity and I wanted to convey that atmosphere with this mid-afternoon shot. Although lighting was not as interesting as I prefer, the uniform illumination made it possible to show all details in high relief.

A.M. Terminal Viaduct

A.M. TERMINAL VIADUCT – One of the more attractive Flats structures is the Terminal Viaduct bridge which connects the West side with the Terminal Tower. The early morning light casts beautiful shadows across the pillars giving the structure a wonderful sense of dimensionality and mass. I’ve visited the site many times over the years at different times of the day and the views have never disappointed.