Iconic Colorado Street Bridge Centennial Exhibit Opens

Published : Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 5:15 AM

Colorado Street Bridge. Photo by City of Pasadena

The Colorado Street Bridge – iconic landmark, connecting thoroughfare, engineering marvel, artistic inspiration, preservation model, and film star – is the focus of a new exhibition opened at Pasadena Museum of History in commemoration of the grand structure’s 100th anniversary.

The Colorado Street Bridge Centennial Exhibition promises to fascinate and intrigue in the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Gallery from 12:00 to 5:00 pm Wednesdays through Sundays  through April 19, 2014.

Hailed by the Scientific American magazine as “one of the few bridges that can properly be classified as a work of art” upon its opening in 1913, the Bridge survived diminished relevance as a thoroughfare, increasing deterioration, and proposals for demolition to become a prime example of civic preservation.

On the occasion of the Bridge’s centennial, this comprehensive exhibition features the work of local artists, photographers, authors, and designers who have portrayed the iconic structure over the past 100 years. The exhibit pays homage to the people who built and preserved a beloved local landmark: the architects, the engineers, the builders, the civic leaders, and the community organizers who worked tirelessly to make it possible.

Historic photographs, drawings, and related ephemera from the collections of the Pasadena Museum of History and the Pasadena Public Library tell the story of the Bridge through the decades. Photographs by Tavo Olmos of the 1991-1993 bridge reconstruction project detail the complexity and extent of the efforts that were necessary to preserve the structure.

The Colorado Street Bridge Centennial Exhibition is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Los Angeles Section and Andrew Machen.

Early next month, the he public is invited to visit the exhibition free of charge on Saturday, December 7, Noon to 4:00 pm, and enjoy light refreshments during a reception with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Los Angeles Section.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet exhibition co-curator/photographer Tavo Olmos, who was contracted by the City of Pasadena to document the 1991-1993 restoration of the Colorado Street Bridge. His recent book, available for purchase and signing, features select views of the deconstruction and reconstruction.

Gallery admission (includes admission to the Kites, Wings, and Other Flying Things exhibition in the adjacent gallery): $7 General; $6 Students & Seniors; Members & Children under 12 Free.

The Pasadena Museum of History is located at 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena 91103. Free parking is available in the Museum lot and on Walnut St.  For more information call (626) 577-1660 or the museum’s website, www.pasadenahistory.org .