Dumbarton Bridge (Washington, D.C.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dumbarton Bridge
SOUTHEAST ELEVATION FROM PARKWAY, LOOKING NORTHWEST - Q Street Bridge, Spanning Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, Washington, District of Columbia, DC HAER DC,WASH,594-4.tif
Location Q Street, Northwest
over Rock Creek Park
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°54′39″N 77°3′4″W / 38.91083°N 77.05111°W / 38.91083; -77.05111Coordinates: 38°54′39″N 77°3′4″W / 38.91083°N 77.05111°W / 38.91083; -77.05111
Built 1915
Architect Glenn Brown
Alexander Proctor
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 73002080[1]
Added to NRHP July 16, 1973

The Dumbarton Bridge, also known as the Q Street Bridge and the Buffalo Bridge, is a historic masonry arch bridge in Washington, D.C., built in 1914–15 to convey Q Street Northwest across Rock Creek Park between the city's Dupont Circle and Georgetown neighborhoods. The bridge's design was by Glenn Brown with engineering design by Daniel B. Luten. Its four famed buffalo sculptures, the largest cast in a single piece of bronze, are by Alexander Phimister Proctor.[2]

The bridge is significant as showing the impact of the City Beautiful movement in Washington and the association of architects, engineers and sculptors with the city's new Commission of Fine Arts. The architects studied photographs of bridges around the world choosing as models a Roman aqueduct and a mountain bridge in Italy with intent to set a precedent for further city bridges. The color of the bridge's stone was intended to evoke the warm tones of Spain and Italy. Along with the buffalo theme the arches are decorated by Indian head designs by Glenn Brown based on a life mask of the Sioux chief Kicking Bear in the Smithsonian.[2]

The curved design is due to need to match the section of Q Street NW in Dupont Circle that is slightly north of the section in Georgetown. To accommodate the bridge’s approach and to keep the street continuous within Georgetown the Dumbarton House, then known as Bellevue, was moved about 100 feet northward from its original site in the middle of the current Q Street to its present position on the north side of the Street.[3]

The Dumbarton Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 16, 1973.[1]

One of four buffalo sculptures on the Dumbarton Bridge, created by Alexander Phimister Proctor
Sculpture from life mask of Kicking Bear by Alexander Phimister Proctor, on Dumbarton Bridge

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. "Historic American Engineering Record—Q Street Bridge (Dumbarton Bridge)—HAER No. DC-38" (PDF). Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  3. ^ The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (2012). "Dumbarton House: Chronology". Dumbarton House. The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 

External links[edit]