The Grandjean Bridge, named for George Grandjean, park commissioner and designer of the original lagoons, is one of nine bridges built by the WPA in New Orleans City Park. Constructed in 1938, the bridge is located behind the New Orleans Museum of Art and serves as entrance to the sculpture garden.
It is the only concrete rigid frame bridge among those constructed in the park. The rigid frame design originated in Europe and began to see use in the US in the 1920s (Mead & Hunt, 2016, Management Plan for Bridges in City Park, New Orleans). Engineer Richard Koch with George Rice designed 8 of the 9 bridges constructed by the WPA. Research could not document their involvement with the Grandjean bridge, however. The concrete rigid frame design was the “last major development in concrete reinforced bridges” and is built by “substructure and superstructure joined in a monolithic, cast-in-place unit” (Mead & Hunt, 2016).
Characteristic defining features of the Grandjean bridge included
…integrated curved wing walls…crowned parapets/railings…beveled pier caps…aesthetic treatment seen in bold font in Art Deco style letters in the concrete endposts…