Arlington Memorial Bridge
Photo Images of the Famous Bridge
Also some history with archival photographs from the Library of Congress; also
some history about George Washington Parke Custis, Anne Hill Carter Lee, and Arlington House.
[Below] Arlington Memorial Bridge, South Side spanning across the Potomac photographed from Ohio Dr., February 2008.
Arlington Cemetary, Virginia is in the distance.
A large photo of Memorial Bridge shot from Ohio Bridge at weems/washington DC here.
The Memorial Bridge spans 2,163 feet (660 meters) across the Potomac, connecting Columbia Island on the Washington D.C. side with Arlington, Virginia.
The bridge's construction was authorized by Congress on February 24, 1925 and construction formally opened on January 16, 1932, though preliminary work was initiated in 1929. Designed by architectural firm McKim, Mead and White the bridge is classified as being in the neo-classical style.
The basis for the bridge being built is that President Warren G. Harding was stuck in traffic for three hours trying to get across the old wooden bridge, and shortly thereafter the plan for the wider, more elegant Memorial Bridge was begun. A ridge was intended for the same location in Pierre L'Enfant's plan for Washington DC, and the idea was resurrected in the 1901 "restoration" of the original plans for the AMerican Capitol. But nothing was done about the bridge until after Harding's traffic jam.
Nine broad arches support the bridge across the Potomac. Not counting the draw span, the bridge is made of reinforced concrete and North Carolina granite ashlar facings.
The eastern entrance to the bridge features the "Arts of War" sculptures, "Sacrifice" and "Valor", which were completed by Leo Friedlander in 1951. On the pylons of each pier of the bridge are large circular discs with eagles and fasces designed by the sculptor Carl Paul Jennewein.
President Herbert Hoover dedicated the Arlington Memorial Bridge on January 16, 1932.
[Below] Theodor Horydczak (1890 - 1959) Photographs of the construction of the
Memorial Bridge from the Library of Congress.
The Arlington Memorial Bridge draw bridge in up position. Photo by Theodor Horydczak, from the Library of Congress collections.
Another image of the ongoing construction of the Memorial Bridge by Theodor Horydczak
Theodore Horydczak photo; Arlington Memorial Bridge at night
Snow on the Memorial Bridge. Photo by Theodor Horydczak.
[Below] Arlington Memorial Bridge.
The Lincoln Memorial on the DC side is clearly seen at the far end of the bridge.
The girders of the Memorial Bridge. Library of Congress.
On the Virginia side the bridge is the direct route to Arlington Cemetary, which was property owned by George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George Washington, first President of the United States. Custis left the property to his daughter and his son-in-law, Anne Hill Carter Lee and Robert E. Lee. The Arlington property became a cemetary during the American civil war when the Union Army began using the occupied land as a graveyard for northern soldiers killed by Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
Arlington Cemetary: Off in the distance you can see Memorial Bridge crossing the Potomac right toward the Lincoln memorial.
The "Arlington House," also called the "Custis-Lee House." Begun in 1802, the English architect George Hadfield also worked on the planning for the District of Columbia. Arlington House was not finished until 1818. It stretches 140 feet from the north to the south wing.
Photo of the North Side of Memorial Bridge, February 2008.
Ohio Drive passing under Memorial Bridge.
Other Photographs of Memorial Bridge. Click thumbnail to see enlarged photo.
A somewhat odd photo of Arlington Memorial Bridge taken from the Roosevelt Bridge is here.
Original Page May 2012 | Updated March 2013
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