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The Endangered

Landenberg Bridge

crossing the East Branch of the White Clay Creek

at Landenberg, New Garden Township,

Chester County, Pennsylvania

Save The Bridge!

The Bridge in the early 1900s.

A Century of Service

1899-1999

For 100 years the Landenberg Bridge has carried traffic across the east branch of the White Clay Creek. It is an integral part of the historic village of Landenberg and sits near to the Hotel and Store and across from the Wool House, the only remains of the Landenberg Woolen Mills. The bridge has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge has suffered much neglect and and botched repairs over the years. Click here for information about the current condition of the bridge. Within the last few years PennDOT has scheduled the bridge for possible repairs or replacement. The work was postponed and postponed, and now, after the last inspection, the bridge has been abruptly condemned before these repairs could even get underway. The bridge is probably going to be closed for several years - this is a hardship for the community.

Residents share PennDOT's safety concerns about the bridge, but are concerned that PennDOT may want to replace the bridge with something that is not in character with the old bridge. An early PennDOT proposal was to replace the current 18-ft wide bridge with a 35-ft wide bridge. This is considered unacceptable historically, aesthetically, and from a safety viewpoint - a wide bridge would encourage excessive speeds on the steep hill leading down to it. Nearby residents, the New Garden Township Historic Commission, and the White Clay Watershed Association want the new bridge to be sturdy, safe, and to look pretty much like the old bridge.

An example of what can be done is the small bridge on the Red Clay Creek north of Kennett Square on Wollaston Rd. There the old bridge was picked up, a new modern bridge built, and the old bridge placed on top of it. The result is quite pleasing - unless you are underneath it, you do not realize it is a modern bridge. That bridge is a county, not state, bridge and is therefore not subject to PennDOT guidelines. PennDOT has indicated that a waiver of some sort would be required if they were to do something similar for the Landenberg Bridge. We need your support to obtain this waiver and to encourage PennDOT to do the right thing. Click here for more information about the county bridge.

You Can Help

Are you interested in preserving the unique village of Landenberg? Do you share our safety concerns about an overly large bridge at Landenberg? A petition is available to sign at the Landenberg Store in support of the following:

Please Stop At The Landenberg Store and Sign the Petition!

Inexpensive T-Shirts are also available.


A History

Landenberg Bridge Centennial

1899-1999

Landenberg

Landenberg, Pennsylvania was named for Martin Landenberger, a Philadelphia textile manufacturer who owned the town from 1864 to 1873. Before 1864 the village was called Chandlersville, after Enoch Chandler, an early mill owner.

Landenberg in the early 1900s

Landenberg was a busy village at the turn of the century. There was a hotel, a two-story store, the Lund woolen mill, the wool house and office building, and a five unit dwelling house for mill workers. Across the creek was the railroad station. From here railroad lines went north to Pomeroy, east to Wilmington, and south to Newark. Today, only the hotel, the first story of the store, and the wool house and office building still stand.

Previous Bridges On The Site

Well before 1856 a road led down the hill and across the stream at this spot below the mill dam. It is not known if there was a bridge here or not before that time. The first known bridge on this site was constructed in 1856. It was probably a covered bridge of the Queenpost type and was built by Ferdinand Wood for $933. In 1871 it was replaced by an iron structure at a cost of $3190. The stonework was done by Ferdinand Wood for $790.


National Register Site

The Landenberg Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 by PennDOT along with 135 other historic bridges owned by the state of Pennsylvania. The Landenberg Bridge was nominated for its engineering significance, both for its cantilevered sidewalk and for being a Pratt pony truss bridge - an unusual style in southeastern Pennsylvania.


For more information, visit the New Garden Historical Commission website.

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