Charlene Aycock

Joined August 2007

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Artist's Description

The Benson Bridge

One day while out at the site with Simon Benson Lancaster remarked to the wealthy Portland lumberman and good roads enthusiast, that it would “be nice if there were a footbridge across the lower waterfall, with a path up to and across it so that visitors could…look up at that magnificent waterfall above, then without moving look down on the lower one into the pool below.” Benson asked what it might cost and Lancaster calculated the figures on the back of an envelope. Benson then wrote out a check for the amount and directed Lancaster to build it. The resulting footbridge is a 45’-0" reinforced-concrete deck arch, 105’ above the lower Multnomah Falls. The location provides a spectacular view of the upper falls. Benson later purchased nearly 1,000 acres along the Columbia River, including 140 acres around Multnomah Falls which he gave to Portland for a city park.

In 1914, the Pacific Bridge Company of Portland received the contract to construct the Crown Point Viaduct and several bridges along the 16-mile-long “waterfalls section” of the Historic Columbia River Highway, from Shepperds Dell Bridge to Horsetail Falls Bridge. As was common practice, the firm subcontracted portions of the work to other companies. Robert Lee Ringer, who previously completed an electric fountain on the state capitol grounds in Salem and had just completed the reinforced-concrete portions of the 500’ viaduct at Crown Point subcontracted work on the Multnomah Falls Footbridge. Ringer reminisced in 1967 that the Pacific Bridge Company “was too large to be concerned with the little bridge over the falls, especially at the end of the season.” As a “small-time contractor” who picked up “some lesser jobs along the highway” Ringer was ready and able to construct the bridge and finished it in the fall of 1914.

All images are the copyright of the artist –
© Charlene M. Aycock
Images Do Not Belong To The Public Domain.
All Rights Reserved.

Copying, altering, manipulating, redistributing displaying, modifying, distributing and/or selling any image without prior written consent/contract from the artist is strictly prohibited and subject to any and all legal remedies.

A MONETARY SETTLEMENT for any unauthorized use, and prosecution in a US Federal Court, as well as Court Cost will be assessed.

Equipment Used: Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera with Canon Zoom Lens EF 70 – 300 mm. 1:4-5.6 USM, with image stabilizer.

Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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