National Register of Historic Places in Yolo County

National Register #82004845: Tower Bridge Across the Sacramento River Photographed from a California Zephyr passenger train traveling east on the I Street Bridge

24 January 2008
(Click Photo to Zoom)

National Register #82004845
Tower Bridge
State Highway 275 Across Sacramento River
Opened 1935

The Sacramento River is the boundary between Yolo and Sacramento Counties. The Tower Bridge connects West Sacramento in Yolo County to the city of Sacramento.

The Tower Bridge is an outstanding example of Moderne styling applied to a utilitarian structure.

The monumental, twin-towered structure is strongly reminiscent of contemporary Wellsian images of the gleaming, streamlined, towered city of the future. The application of the futuristic image which pervaded design during the 1930s transformed an otherwise utilitarian structure into an outstanding expression of the social and architectural climate of the period.

The Tower Bridge opened as a major transportation link in US Highway 40 with considerable fanfare in 1935. The bridge also carried the Sacramento Northern interurban electric railway lines into the city from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Shortly after its completion the Tower Bridge was judged the nation's "most beautiful lift bridge".

For thirty years the bridge served as the main gateway to the Capital City. It remains a key element in the urban landscape, forming the western visual terminus of the Capitol Mall, balancing the State Capitol building on the east.

The Tower Bridge is also listed on the National Register for Sacramento County.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

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