Ghostly Gothic

Cee and I went out on our weekly photo shoot and had fun capturing Portland’s St. John’s Bridge from underneath it in Cathedral Park.  The weather forecast was for fog, and we thought it might be fun to capture the beautiful Gothic architecture of the bridge in a ghostly  setting.  When we got to the bridge, the fog was thicker than we had anticipated, but I still got a couple of interesting shots.  (See my prior post about the bridge being used in the US TV show, The Librarians.)

This is taken from underneath the bridge, looking up at the roadbed.  You can see the pointed Gothic arch in the near support and the ghost of one in the support you can see in the distance.  St. Johns Bridge is a suspension bridge, and you can see the massive cables running on either side of the bridge roadbed.

Here’s another shot to give you some more perspective, taken from a path through the park on the approach to the bridge.


For those of you who are in the northern part of the US, here is what winter looks like in the Pacific Northwest.  It was 48 degrees at 10:00 AM and we have beautiful green grass all winter long.  I love living here.  Even on a foggy, foggy morning, you can still see color.

Construction of the bridge was started in 1929, just one month before the stock market crash that began the Great Depression.  Despite that, it was completed in twenty-one months and came in one million dollars UNDER budget.  I’d like to see that feat replicated today!

Here you can see where the suspension cables anchor into the ground.  I purposefully left the family in the foreground to give you an idea of the scale.   The anchorage is created from 29,000 tons of concrete.  The cables that come into it are 16.75 inches in diameter, comprised of 91 twisted strands.

What I find interesting is that they included a little flair in their design, even though no one would ever see it.  (The land under the bridge was opened up to the public as Cathedral Park in 1980, fifty years after the bridge was completed.)  The designer put a large crest on the side of the anchorage and diamonds on the other sides.  The crest is blank.  It seems to have no significance other than it was created in a day when craftsmanship still mattered.  Just in case someone other than the workers who built it should ever see it, they included a little flair.

Here’s view of the bridge in sunlight.  We haven’t shot one of our own yet from Cathedral Park, but here is one Cee took a couple of years ago from the road approaching the bridge.  The support on the left in the near one in the top picture, and the right arched support is the ghostly one you see through the legs of the other.


Shot with my old, reliable Nikon D60 and my favorite Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens.

Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  All of my postings tend to reflect my introvert world in some way or another.  Join me and like minded introverts for a special slant on the world.

7 thoughts on “Ghostly Gothic

  1. Pingback: St. John’s Bridge, Portland, Oregon | Cee's Photography

  2. I absolutely love bridges and I also like Gothic architecture. What a great idea to take photos of the bridge in the fog. The first shot from under the bridge is so cool. And I appreciate that you included its history.

    We’re expecting snow tonight (near Washington, D.C.). I think I would love your winters.

  3. Pingback: Depth in Wide Angle | 61 Musings

  4. Pingback: Share Your World – 2015 Week #6 | Cee's Photography

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