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Pulteney Bridge

Crosses the River Avon

Bath, England

1773

 

Bridges lined with shops have always been rarities, but Robert Adam's creation in Bath has more than novelty value. His restrained composition of curves and rectangles was one of the visual delights of English Neo-classicism. The uncluttered lines of the river facades were designed to be effective at a distance, while the elevations to the road provided an interesting play of light and shadow for passers-by. Paradoxically, the success of the concept destroyed the architecture. Within twenty years of its building, commercial pressures on this prime shop site dictated an expansion upwards, with a butchery of those graceful elevations which fortunately Adam was not alive to witness. Then in the nineteenth century, individual leaseholders enlarged their shop windows or cantilevered out over the river as the fancy took them. Storms and road widening also took their toll. By I948 the buildings had 'become pathetic travesties of the original design.'" In that very year, Bath City Council removed a wooden structure from the back of one shop; the tide had turned. From then on the story has been one of gradual restoration.

 

pulteney_bridge.pdf

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Suspension bridges

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Conquistadors from Spain came, they saw and they were astonished. They had never seen anything in Europe like the bridges of Peru. Chroniclers wrote that the Spanish soldiers stood in awe and fear before the spans of braided fiber cables suspended across deep gorges in the Andes, narrow walkways sagging and swaying and looking so frail.Yet the suspension bridges were familiar and vital links in the vast empire of the Inca, as they had been to Andean cultures for hundreds of years before the arrival of the Spanish in 1532. The people had not developed the stone arch or wheeled vehicles, but they were accomplished in the use of natural fibers for textiles, boats, sling weapons — even keeping inventories by a prewriting system of knots.

 

<www.nytimes.com...

 

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Japan is the home of the small picturesque bridge of timber arches, frequently built without the use of a single metal nail or bolt.  Christian Barman cites Japanese bridges as examples of ‘exquisitely perfected temporary construction’.  Briges and temples were often rebuilt anually.  the famous Kintai-kyo bridge at Iwakuni used to have its five arches rebuilt in succession, so that the whole bridge was renewed every twenty-five years.  According to Japenese belief structures must never be allowwed to fall into decay as that would enfeeble the spirit of continuity on which the survival of mankind depends (H. Shirley 32).

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Perrine's Bridge

New York

1850

 

Perrine's Bridge is the second oldest bridge in the State of New York, after the Hyde Hall Bridge in East Springfield. Once located in the hamlet called Perrines Bridge between 1850 and 1861. It is located in the modern day town of Esopus-Rosendale, New York just a few hundred feet to the east of Interstate 87 crossing of the Wallkill River in Ulster County, New York. Originally built to aid in the movement of trade between the towns of Rifton and Rosendale, the bridge is about two hours northwest of New York city between mile markers 81 and 82 on the New York State Thruway (I-87).

 

<en.wikipedia.org...>

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Rialto Bridge

Over the Grand Canal in Venice

1588

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Alcantara Bridge over the Tagus was built by the Roman, Caius Julius Lacer, for the Emperor Trajan.

“Some of the mightiest and most impressive Roman Bridges, which fall broadly into two groups, are to be found in Spain.  On the one hand there is the long low bridge of many nearly equal arches acros a broad river valley.  Of this kind are the bridges of Salamanca, Cardova, and merida.  As a contrast there is themajestic majestic lofty bridge of few and unequal arches thrown across a wide rocky gorge (H. Shirley 21).”

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