Cathedral Park & St. Johns Bridge

February 18, 2008 at 7:32 pm | Posted in adventures, portland | Leave a comment

by Frank

Guess what? The sun shown on Portland on Sunday, February 17, 2008! That might not seem like a big deal to those of you in Arizona, but Sunday marked the first mostly sunny sky in Portland for weeks. To celebrate, Sandra and I enjoyed a picnic in St. Johns’s Cathedral Park, located under the historic St. Johns Bridge.

The St. Johns Bridge is a steel suspension bridge spanning the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. It’s the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley.

The bridge has two 408 ft tall Gothic towers, a 1,207 ft center span and a total length of 2,067 ft. The adjacent park of Cathedral Park is named after the Gothic cathedral-like appearance of the bridge towers. It is the tallest bridge in Portland, with 400 ft tall towers and a 205 ft navigational clearance.

At the dedication ceremony in 1931, designer Dr. Steinman told the crowds, “A challenge and an opportunity to create a structure of enduring beauty in the God-given wonderous background was offered us when were asked to design the bridge. It is the most beautiful bridge in the world we feel.”

“The Gothic arch was made of stone in the medieval days because steel had not been developed. It is really more appropriate in steel. Until recently the public took it for granted that steel bridges had to be utilitarian and unattractive, but now the interest is turning to the development of forms of beauty in steel.”

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