C Cleveland

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cleveland is a city of bridges. It's hard to travel from one side of town to the other without crossing over one of our many bridges. My favorite is the Art Deco inspired, Hope Memorial Bridge, which is also known as the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. It connects Cleveland's west and east sides and was built by an $8 million bond issue that was approved in 1927.

The steel and concrete structure, consists of 13 cantilever truss spans varying in length from 299' over the river to 132' at the ends. The lower deck, intended to carry 4 lanes of vehicular traffic and 2 streetcar tracks, was never completed.

The most memorable things about the mile long bridge are the "Guardians of Traffic", 4 massive stone pylons with 8 figures sculpted in a transitional blend of stylized classicism and Art Deco style.

You know, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that I was reincarnated from the late 1930's and 40's because I have such an affinity for the music, fashion and architectural movements of the time and art deco is one of my favorites.

The Hope Memorial Bridge was renovated and christened as such in the 1980's in honor of a family of Cleveland stonemasons, who also happened to be the family of native son, Bob Hope.

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the year that then County Engineer, Albert Porter, threated to remove the historic pylons, calling them "monstrosities". I think if that every happens, I would need to rush down to grab a piece of the bridge, much like people do when a building of historical or emotional significance is torn down.

I would put this in my back yard, next to the bird feeder.

Cleveland isn't only known for its bridges, it's also famous for its sports fans, who cheer their teams on even when they probably don't deserve it. A marketing firm managed to convince someone in city government to allow them to climb one of the pylons this week to put a Cleveland Cavaliers banner on it for the playoffs.

Go Cavs!


  1. nice post. its given me an idea to do something on my little home town.

  2. I love Cleveland! I'm originally from Poland, which is near Youngstown, and we used to love going to Cleveland. My brother lives in Twinsburg so we get to some Indian's games occasionally. Great pictures!

  3. Whoa whoa whoa you're blowing my mind here. I live 2 minutes from downtown and have never noticed these guardians of traffic. I need to go check this out today.

  4. @Gillian,
    Thanks! You should. It's fun to see different cities from an "insider's" perpective.

    Isn't it the best? Sadly, not too difficult to get Indians tickets these days. We just can't hit!

    You must! It's better if you can stop on either end and walk or ride a bike over. Don't get blown off in this wind today!

  5. Ok, now I know for SURE you and I are twins because I TOO have affinity for the late 30's and 40's!! There is "something" about that time period I feel deep within my soul. Almost like a memory. And it's like you shared...I love the music, fashion, and architecture.

    LOVED reading about the history of the bridge and I had no idea that Bob Hope was a native Clevelander - how COOL is that???

    That first photo is GORGEOUS! Cleveland looks like such a wonderful city.

    Thanks again for sharing a piece of history of your home!

    Have a grrrreat Sunday, girl!


  6. Hey Chrissy! LOVING the Guardians! I'm going to have to drop by at some point. Indigo

  7. You know what, I have never paid attention to those. Thanks for giving me something to look out for.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  8. @Redbonegirl97,
    I remember the first time that I noticed them I wanted to stop on the bridge and get out. Don't do that! :-)


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