Engineer Houses

Engineer Houses

Engineer Houses

My favorite architectural details from the industrial golden age are the engineer houses that crown vertical lift bridges.  This one rides up and down 130 ft on the Canal Street Railroad Bridge at the southern end of Ping Tom Park.  A magical calm envelops this invisible sliver of green where the railroads split and flank the river for the last mile into the Loop.  I like to sit on the grass under the willows and, like a supplicant in a cathedral, ask the majestic giants for perspective. I imagine a century-old engineer riding up and down, oiling the muscular pulleys, levitating over this relentlessly flat city, seeing everything.