Last weekend the husband and I wandered out on the Fairmount Park and along our walk, we encountered the Thomas Mill Bridge.
I happen to love a good historic structure, bridges included. Did you know that along with HABS (Historic American Building Survey) and HALS (Historic American Landscape Survey), the National Park Service also administers HAER, which is the Historic American Engineering Record, which documents historic bridges.
While the Thomas Mill Bridge has not been documented by HAER, it was documented via HABS. This was the modus operandi prior to the inception of HAER in 1969, as numerous covered bridges were listed through the HABS program. Additionally, the Thomas Mill Bridge is also listed on the National Register for Historic Places, as well as counting as a contributing structure for the Chestnut Hill Historic District; the district itself has been listed since the mid-1980s.
The Thomas Mill Bridge was built in 1855 and renovated in 1939 and 2000. It is the only covered bridge in Philadelphia and the only covered bridge in a major American city.