Interesting Tidbits : The Lorain-Carnegie Bridge

by - 10/18/2009

As a bookworm, I often come across interesting tidbits of information that stick in my mind. And as a blogger, I'm often in need of inspiration to blog stuff about. I decided to combine the two and will be bringing an "Interesting tidbit" feature from now on, whenever possible.

Today's inspiration came from the book, Evidence of Murder by Lisa Black. The cause of my interest : The Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, now known as the Hope Memorial Bridge. Reason for my interest - Pairs of statues designed by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Walker (titled the "Guardians of Traffic") stand on pylons at each end of the viaduct, symbolizing progress in transportation.


This is a 5,865 foot (1,787 meter) long art deco truss bridge crossing the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. It stands 93 feet (28 meters) above the waterline in order to allow shipping to pass. The bridge connects Lorain Avenue on Cleveland's west side and Carnegie Avenue on the east side, terminating just short of Progressive Field. When it opened in 1932, this new steel-and-concrete structure stood nearly a mile long and consisted of 13 cantilever truss spans varying in length from 299' over the river to 132' at the ends. A lower deck, intended to carry 4 lanes of vehicular traffic and 2 streetcar tracks, was never completed.

The bridge was designed by engineers Wilbur J Watson & Associates, with Frank Walker as consulting architect. One of the variations from strict engineering necessity was the curving of the lower edge of the trusses to give a more pleasing arched appearance, and the major architectural feature was the 4 massive stone pylons with 8 conventionalized figures representing Guardians of Traffic. Designed by Walker and sculpted by Henry Hering, they are transitional between a stylized classicism and the Modernistic or Art Deco style.

The bridge was closed in 1980-83 for the replacement of the concrete roadway deck. Upon reopening, it was renamed the Hope Memorial Bridge, in honor of the family of entertainer Bob Hope, who were Cleveland stonemasons.


Sources :
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Do you have any interesting tidbit for me? Let me know in the comments and who knows, I may make it a blog post one day!


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