Walnut Street Bridge, Chattanooga

4.7
Built in 1890, the Walnut Street Bridge was the first to connect Chattanooga, Tennessee's downtown with the North Shore. According to a plaque on the bridge, Edwin Thacher was the chief engineer for the bridge. The bridge's superstructure was assembled by the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio, which was a prolific late 19th-century bridge builder. The bridge's substructure was constructed by Neeley, Smith, and Company of Chattanooga. Most of the parts for the bridge were manufactured by Manly Jail Works of Dalton, Georgia and then shipped to the site by rail. The bridge's main spans are pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss spans. The top chord of these truss spans are configured in five sections, making the spans similar to the Camelback truss design. The bridge is historically significant as an extremely long and old example of its type; according to the Historic American Engineering Record: "The bridge was apparently the first non-military highway bridge across the Tennessee River."A former Union officer from Ann Arbor, Michigan, William Andrew Slayton (1854–1935) was the stone contractor. Slayton lived in a stone house at 533 Barton Avenue, the house known for years by later inhabitants as the location of the "Little Art Shop." It is not known if he built this house, but similarly to Washington Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge, he could overlook the project from his window. Many of the low stone walls in North Chattanooga are made up of the remnants of stones deemed too small for use in the piers. Subdivision plats in Chattanooga suggest that Slayton developed some areas to facilitate the hauling of materials from quarries in northeastern Alabama, and Slayton Street and Slayton Avenue are found near the current public library location on Broad Street. Slayton's obituary fails to note that there is no stone on his grave at Chattanooga Memorial near Red Bank, Tennessee.
For Walnut Street Bridge and beyond, use our Chattanooga trip planning tool to get the most from your Chattanooga vacation.
Source
map
Create an itinerary including Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
248 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We were here for the Iron Man Triathlon, and this bridge was a great spot to watch the race and enjoy the river view. There are benches on the bridge.  more »
  • A stroll across this bridge is a unique and rewarding experience. It is free and the scenery off either side is fascinating. You can see the Head of the Hooch race from this vantage point as well as u...  more »
  • We decided a walk after dinner in downtown Chattanooga would be a good way to wind down the evening. The walk across the river was breezy and cool after a day of rain. We found other families and coup...  more »

Plan your trip to Chattanooga

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Chattanooga

Centrally located Chattanooga hotels offer comfortable rooms just a walk from the city's best shops, restaurants, and museums. Staying in the middle of everything can cost a bundle, so if you're traveling on a budget or simply prefer a bed and breakfast atmosphere, consider staying farther away from the central part of townwhile on holiday. Most budget-friendly inns located along the free electric shuttle route servicing the downtown area offer all the comforts of home at the fraction of the price charged by the big chains.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Chattanooga by other users

29 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in Tennessee BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, kids, culture, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Tennessee BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 35 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in Chattanooga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in United States BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, teens, outdoors, beaches, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 6 days in Chattanooga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Chattanooga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Chattanooga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES August, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Tennessee BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans