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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Woodley Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Million Dollar Bridge

 
 
Million Dollar Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 16, 2015
1. Million Dollar Bridge Marker
Inscription. Developers first plotted the residential neighborhood of Woodley Park in 1875, attached to this high land overlooking Rock Creek, where Philip Barton Key had built an estate that he named Woodley. (You can see the Woodley mansion on the campus of Maret School, 3000 Cathedral Avenue.) But Rock Creek's deep ravines limited the size of Woodley Park until 1907, when the Connecticut Avenue bridge opened and development began in earnest. Twenty years later, Woodley Park was largely complete.

At the time it was built, the Connecticut Avenue bridge, nicknamed “Million Dollar Bridge” due to its then-extraordinary cost, was the largest to be constructed of pre-cast concrete. Even its feline guardian sculptures were made of concrete. Originally sculpted by Roland Hinton Perry, the lions have been restored twice, once in 1964 by sculptor Renato Lucchetti, and again in 2000 by Reinaldo Lopez. The bridge is also known for its lamp posts, each topped with an eagle alighting, by sculptor Ernest C. Bairstow.

The bridge was renamed the William Howard Taft Bridge in 1930, to honor the former president (1909-1913) and chief justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930), who lived in neighboring Kalorama.

The Woodley Park call boxes were developed by the Woodley Park Community Association as part of Art on Call, a
Million Dollar Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 16, 2015
2. Million Dollar Bridge Marker
program of Cultural Tourism DC with support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and the District Department of Transportation. Local support for this call box was provided by the Woodley Park Community Association and Shapiro & Company LLC. Visit www.woodleypark.org for map and more information.

 
Location. 38° 55.518′ N, 77° 3.085′ W. Marker is in Woodley Park, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Woodley Road and Woodley Place, on the right when traveling east on Woodley Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2520 Woodley Road, Washington DC 20008, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walsh Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harry Wardman (approx. 0.2 miles away); Woodley Road Neighbors (approx. 0.2 miles away); The ›Duke‹ Ellington Memorial Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); Long & Winding Woodley Road (approx. 0.3 miles away); Redwood (approx. 0.4 miles away); Black and Gray Squirrels (approx. 0.4 miles away); Walter Pierce Park (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Woodley Park.
 
Also see . . .  Historic American Buildings Survey Record for the Connecticut Bridge
Taft Bridge in 1905, with Woodley Lane bridge in foreground. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 16, 2015
3. Taft Bridge in 1905, with Woodley Lane bridge in foreground.
Close-up of photo on marker
. Includes more than 20 photos, schematics, and a detailed history of the bridge. (Submitted on August 21, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsMan-Made Features
 
Taft Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 16, 2015
4. Taft Bridge
Taft Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 16, 2015
5. Taft Bridge
Connecticut Avenue Bridge, 1909 image. Click for full size.
By Good Roads Magazine
6. Connecticut Avenue Bridge, 1909
This longitudinal section of the Connecticut Avenue Bridge appeared in the Good Roads Magazine, January 1909.
Lion image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
7. Lion
Concrete Lion Sculpture by Roland Hinton Perry restored by Renato Lucchetti and Reinaldo Lopez.
<i>Detail of showing concrete repair work being done in lion, southeast corner of bridge....</i> image. Click for full size.
By Jet Lowe, 1995
8. Detail of showing concrete repair work being done in lion, southeast corner of bridge....
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Bairstow Lamp Post image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 16, 2015
9. Bairstow Lamp Post
Eagle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
10. Eagle
on a Bairstow lamp post
<i>Connecticut Avenue Bridge and Lions, Washington, D.C.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1910
11. Connecticut Avenue Bridge and Lions, Washington, D.C.
Designed by prominent engineer George B. Morison, Connecticut Avenue Bridge was described at the time of its construction as the largest concrete arch in the world. This seven-arch span was erected without steel reinforcement, composed entirely of monolithic concrete masonry and molded concrete block. It was an inspiration to Washington bridge designers of the twentieth century. - Historic American Buildings Survey Statement of Significance
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 21, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 243 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 21, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   11. submitted on August 21, 2015. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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