When C. A. Dahl came to Trondheim in 1859, it was to assume the new position of city engineer. Bearing in mind the recent decades of rapid technical and economic development, the writing was on the wall – radical changes in the urban society were imminent. For 40 years he would dominate the design of the modern city of Trondheim.
Dahl, from Østfold County, obtained his technical education in Gothenburg, Sweden, and in Hannover, Germany. Before coming to Trondheim he had worked for several years for Statens vegvesen [now the Norwegian Public Roads Administration]. The city engineer’s duties were comprehensive. Among the most important projects carried out in the last half of the nineteenth century were the water supply and sewer systems. Construction of roads and bridges was also an important part of the job, and later Dahl also took part in the planning of the power grid and the tram system.
His most important contribution, however, was Trondheim port. Through comprehensive dredging and landfill today's Brattøra was created as a modern transportation centre, with a canal harbour and railway as important ingredients. This work has greatly impacted the development of modern Trondheim. Later the disadvantage of Dahl's plan became clearer: Downtown had lost its immediate contact with the fjord.
C. A. Dahl was active in many other fields as well, not least in sports and outdoor life. In 1930 he was honoured with a statue, made by Stinius Fredriksen. This statue has been placed in various spots around the railway station.
Recommended reading: Trondhjemske samlinger [Collections from Trondheim], v. 9, h.1, 1973.