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Classic L.A. to Z: B is for BRIDGES

Photograph courtesy of flickr/Googiesque

With its brocade of arches that have curved gently over the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena since 1913, the beaux arts Colorado Street Bridge is as much a sculpture as it is a roadway. But the 14 historic bridges that extend over the concrete banks of the Los Angeles River are rarer still: So much of L.A.’s built environment can seem random or, well, lacking in vision. These spans do not. They bespeak a time when a fast-growing L.A., inspired by the City Beautiful movement, was preparing for a bright future. Built between 1909 and 1938, they range in style from the period revival seen in the 1st Street and 4th Street bridges to the deco arches of the 6th Street Viaduct. Pay your respects now: Plans are under way to replace the latter, whose 1932 concrete is decaying, with a modern cable bridge.

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