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Arlington Memorial Bridge

 

 

 

Arlington Memorial Bridge

By John T. Marck

 

Considered by many as Washington’s most beautiful bridge, the Arlington Memorial Bridge runs from the Lincoln Memorial and crosses the Potomac River to Arlington, Virginia, where the Arlington National cemetery and the Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee is located.

The Bridge is also symbolic as it links the North and the South with its alignment between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington House. It was designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White. Neo-classical in design, it is 2,163 feet in length, consisting of nine broad arches that carry the bridge across the river. It is also a draw bridge, and except for the draw scan, the bridge is reinforced concrete construction faced with dressed North Carolina granite ashlar.

"Flanking the eastern ends of the bridge and parkway are two pairs of monumental Ne0-classical equestrian sculpture on identical pedestals. "The Arts of War," by Leo Friedlander stands at the end of the bridge. In "Valor" on the left, the male equestrian is accompanied by a female striding forward with a shield; in "Sacrifice" a standing female symbolizing the earth looks up to the rider Mars. "The Arts of Peace," by James Earle Fraser flanks the end of the parkway. "Music and Harvest" consists of a winged horse, Pegasus, between a male figure with a bundle of wheat and a sickle and a woman with a harp. In "Aspiration and Literature," another Pegasus is flanked by figures holding a book and a bow.

The statues, about 17 feet in height are of gilded bronze, and were commissioned in 1925, but were not erected until 1951. "

Copyright ã2007 by John T. Marck, except footnote below. Information in part compliments of the National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places.