DVD - Chicago Drawbridges

The PBS documentary Chicago Drawbridges chronicles the importance of the bridges in the making of the Windy City, from the very first wood footbridge, built by a tavern owner in 1832, to today’s iconic structures spanning the Chicago River.  Entertaining, informative, and engaging the 57-minute film was directed by Chicago filmmaker Stephen Hatch and narrated by Patrick McBriarty.

Trailer for Chicago Drawbridges

This program tells the story of Chicago’s development through its bridges and is a companion to the book Chicago River Bridges. It tells the story of how Chicago became the Drawbridge Capital of the World through stories and interviews of multiple experts including:

Grant Crowley – Owner, Crowley’s Yacht Yard
Vasile M. Jurca, P.E. – CDOT Engineer
Ozana Balan-King – Museum Director, McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
Michael Latham – Professor of music & film studies
Dennis McClendon – Chicago CartoGraphics
James S. Phillips, P.E. (ret.)
David M. Solzman, Ph.D. – Professor, geographer, & author
Brian Steele – Director of Communications for CDOT (2001-2011)
Betsy Steinberg – Managing Director of the Illinois Film Office

This documentary has aired on Chicago and Milwaukee Public Television, and was screened in Park City, Utah during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  After watching this film you will never look at a bridge the same way.  Pick up your copy today!

Chicago Drawbridges – “takes viewers on a fascinating, artistic, and historical field trip of Chicago’s drawbridges.  This film is divided into segments, which makes it friendly for classroom use.  Classes across the curriculum, including art, history, mathematics, and science, can utilize this documentary in a variety of ways.
Patricia Ann Owens, School Library Journal, June 2014, p. 59.

“Using a rich array of vintage drawings and photographs, crisp graphics, and computer-generated images the producers retrace the evolution of these bridges.  Offering the always welcome chapter selection option and several supplementary in-depth interviews, this affordable program will attract a variety of viewers.”
Dwain Thomas, Library Journal, June 15, 2014, p. 56



Purchase a DVD which includes an additional 100-minutes of Special Features.