Saturday, March 16, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm – Swing and Slide

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford Street in Boston, reveals the engineering feats of Boston’s moving bridges! Join them on a tour Saturday, March 16, beginning at 11 am, that focuses on the mechanics of the draw bridge, as they swing open or slide apart. Led by exhibition curator Duane Lucia, you’ll take in the Charles River Dam, Charlestown Bridge, Northern Avenue Swing Bridge (recipient of the 2013 Blossom Fund grant from The Boston Committee of the GCA)  and Summer Street Retractile Bridge.  Rain date Saturday, March 23.  Meet at the Museum.  For more information, visit

This tour highlights the current exhibit Connections North: Bridges of the West End.  Did you know that for 150 years Harvard college depended on an unusual source of income: its ferry. Harvard opposed attempts to build bridges, claiming that more visitors would put “scholars in danger of being too much interrupted in their studies & hurt in their morals.”

It’s easy to forget that Boston is a peninsula surrounded by water, but until the Charles River Bridge was built in 1786 there there were only two ways to get to Cambridge: take the Charlestown ferry, owned by the Harvard Corporation, or make an 8 mile journey overland via Boston Neck (Washington Street) through Roxbury and Brookline.

Connections North tells a story spanning 300 years about the bridges that changed not only the area immediately around the Charles, but the entire face of Boston, which benefited from new resources brought in from the north. The curators will be covering the Charles River Bridge, West Boston Bridge, Canal Bridge and Warren Bridge, along with their design, construction and the political intrigues they stirred up!