Sunday, March 28, 2010

An overlooked bridge

This bridge adjacent to the Brick is very often overlooked. Yet one should see it as an architectural feat. From the Roman Empire to modern-day steel the bridge has overcome many design changes. Yet this bridge serves more than just a crosswalk over water. It is the gateway to our campus, and frames the cornerstone of our identity, King Alfred.

The Foote Brothers of Nunda, NY, made this bridge. These brothers also owned a cement manufacturing company, a large part of the material used to make the bridge. Yet the most interesting piece of this bridge t me was the sign stating the maker. This small copper plate is so easily missed, that it took me four years of walking up that hill to notice, and only by happenstance, because my dog stopped to sniff. Copper is such a revolutionary metal, and for me, has so many historical references, like the Statue of Liberty as well as ancient art and monetary references as well.

I find it interesting to think about the choices of materials that builders use. Why a copper sign? Why a cement base, when water could potentially seep in and eventually crack the cement. Another interesting fact is why the copper changes to the color green. To quote a metal website “Gemini Geek,” “Though copper is well known as a metal that resists the effects of exposure to the air and to salt water (because of the salt), it does have an interesting characteristic when this exposure occurs. It turns green.”

1 comment:

  1. what else did the foote brothers make? Anything in alfred? or outside of alfred? What was the bridge used for? What was its purpose. I feel that it must have had a purpose before it was forgotten. This could be interesting in the transformation project as most of our topics are of things that used to exist but don't anymore. this one still exists but its purpose is forgotten.