100 years of the Colorado St. Bridge

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View of the Colorado Street Bridge shows several groups of people walking on the bridge and enjoying the surrounding scenery. A few automobiles can be seen travelling on the bridge. Photo courtesy: Los Angeles Public Library

View of the Colorado Street Bridge shows several groups of people walking on the bridge and enjoying the surrounding scenery. A few automobiles can be seen travelling on the bridge. Photo courtesy: Los Angeles Public Library

Today marks the centennial of Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge, and a new exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of History features art, photography, writing, designs, and much more that was inspired by the bridge.

Although the rest of LA county might not realize it, the bridge was an important feat,  making passage from Pasadena to Highland Park possible for the new invention of the early 1900’s – horseless carriages. It was also the longest and tallest bridge in Southern California when it was built.

Despite the 134 freeway eventually handling most traffic, and a brief closure in 1989 for seismic retrofitting, the bridge still stands as one of the city’s proudest monuments. Architecturally, the bridge is notable for being an arch bridge, reminiscent of Roman aqueducts, and known for their dexterity since approximately 1300 B.C.

(It also has been called “suicide bridge,” but barriers were eventually erected to prevent jumping.

Today, it plays host to the annual “Celebration on the Colorado Street Bridge” festival each summer.

KCET has a nice report of the architecture and building of the Colorado Street Bridge here.