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The Lion Bridge: 1936

The Lion Bridge: 1936

St. Johns County, Florida, circa 1936. "Lion Bridge, St. Augustine." Where the gulls are. 8x10 acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

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One of The Lions

Two lions guard the approach to the bridge in Downtown St. Augustine. Here's the one on the north side. The lions were taken away for safe keeping during the bridge renovation. I'm not certain they've been returned yet but the plan was always to do so.

Totally Restored in 2011

The Bridge of Lions connects St. Augustine with Anastasia Island across the Intercoastal Waterway. When completed in 1927 it was immediately hailed as a work of art and a landmark for the ancient city. Huge marble lions for the bridge's approaches were carved in Florence, Italy and donated by local philanthropist, Dr. Andrew Anderson before his death in 1924.
By the 1990s the 1,545ft long bridge was in very poor condition and had been named to the list of Top 10 Endangered Historic Sites in America. In an amazing feat of cooperation between preservationists, engineers, the City and the State of Florida, the bridge was renovated/rebuilt in its original location, using as much of the original bridge as possible. This required building a temporary bridge adjacent to the site which was torn down when the "new" bridge opened 2 years ago.
For the past 86 years no visit to St. Augustine has been complete unless you've walked across this marvel.

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