Taft Bridge and Lions and Eagles

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September 29th, 2008

Taft Bridge and Lions and Eagles Washington, DC


     The Taft Bridge used to be called the Connecticut Avenue Bridge.  It's spans over Rock Creek and the Potomac Parkway.  It's 1341 feet long and 125 feet high.  It was built in 1907. There are four lions - two at each end that were sculpted by R. Hinton Perry. They had deteriorated and were removed in the 1960s, but replaced with copies a few years ago. The lions are about 12 feet long and were put back into place in 2000.

The bridge was named after President William Howard Taft in 1931. It is an arch bridge. The designer was George S. Morison, and the architect was Edward Casey. It has been called an "engineering tour de force" as the largest unreinforced concrete structure in the world (at least until 1996). Since restoration of the original lions was not feasible, new sculptures were created by artist Reinaldo López-Carrizo. The bridge is also known for it's eagle lamp posts.  There are Eagles made out of iron that were sculpted by Ernest C Baristow on top of each lamp post.  I am not sure how many of these there are, but I think about 20 of them.  There is one unusual thing about one of them; one of the eagles is facing away from the interior of the bridge!  All the others face inwards... theories on the net include "freemason" clues... like in the Da Vinci Code. Neat eh?

   This is a free attraction.


Above: The Taft Bridge with one of the four Lions shown.  Photo is a bit far and fuzzy due to taking it in a moving car through a rainy windshield, but you get the idea.


The Taft Bridge in Wikipedia

The Lions Restoration

Statuary in Washington DC

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