Friday, October 3, 2008

Form

It doesn't cross a river. It's not a train trestle. Its main purpose is to carry automobile traffic across a deep arroyo, the Arroyo Seco, from Pasadena to Los Angeles and vice versa. I believe its secondary purpose is to be beautiful.

Yet I never tire of the Colorado Street Bridge. I don't get tired of photographing it, crossing it or gazing at it. In fact when it's in my view I can't take my eyes off it. It's one of the prettiest bridges I've ever seen.

Some have said that form must follow function, but to follow it exclusively is to be deprived of opportunity for beauty. I'm a fan of the odd superfluous detail, myself.

23 comments:

Vanda said...

Modernist architecture at its best can be striking at its worst stunningly ugly. I prefer the more decorative styles of architecture myself.

altadenahiker said...

I love seeing this bridge from a fresh angle. (I also love seeing this bridge from a classic angle.)

Green, not Granola said...

I love this bridge, too! Every time I see it, it makes me happy.

Laurie said...

Oh heavens, give me superfluous detail any day! I'm terrible when it comes to preferring form over function. I have enough ridiculously uncomfortable (but oh so gorgeous) shoes to prove that I'm a sucker for pretty things to look at.

This is such a great shot of the bridge, Petrea. I never get tired of looking at it either. My daughter really enjoys the playground equipment at the Rose Bowl park and I love the chance to drive Arroyo Dr. to pass under the bridge to get there.

Petrea said...

Modernist functional form most certainly can be beautiful, Vanda.

AH, there was a big push to rehabilitate this bridge at one time (before I moved here). I think a lot of people feel the way we do.

Hi Green! Part of the club.

Laurie, I looked for you at the South Pas Farmer's Market yesterday and I did NOT take my camera!

USelaine said...

This is all I got.

Stéphane Kardos said...

Beautiful shot, I love the shapes, the design. It is a beautiful bridge indeed, and the only one I know so far in L.A that look like something. Most of the time here they only serve one purpose, functional but not pretty.

elizabeth said...

Yep, I always think of this as 'my' bridge. I always make sure I drive across it when I'm returning home from somewhere else. :-)

Benjamin Madison said...

Yup, it's a real beauty.

Dina said...

Every bridge and building should be built with arches, and not just in the Middle East. They just make you feel good.

The Skin Care Shop said...

That is a stunning picture! That is one of the prettiest bridges EVER! Love Pasadena!

Laurie said...

Petrea, I saw on Elaine's blog that you were at the market yesterday. WAHHHH! My family has been sick for a week, including me, so I skipped it this week as not to germ up all that nice fresh produce.

I hate being sick. I especially hate being sick when my kid is also sick -- but the two usually go together.

Let me know if you plan to go to the market next week. It would be so fun to meet you there. (The barbequed corn on the cob is a good incentive. In fact, that barbequed corn on the cob is a reason to live...)

altadenahiker said...

I don't know about you, but I find its nickname rather romantic. As an aside, and not to be morbid (tho I guess this is), they did a study of the people who had jumped from the SF Bridge. And they found the younger they were, the more likely they were to have deep scratching on the ends of their fingers. They had changed their minds.

Christie said...

How gorgeous!! I love it! It reminds me of the beautiful lamp in the hallway of some building. Beauty around every corner. So fun!

Chuck Pefley said...

I like the angle you've chosen ... very much. The heavy but graceful arch in shadow provides a lovely counterpoint to the arches in the distance. I can see why you like this bridge.

Bernie K. said...

RIveting photo, but a tad arch.

Petrea said...

For another beautiful bridge, click on USElaine's link.

Stéphane, the bridges on Arroyo Parkway near downtown L.A. (otherwise known as the 110 Freeway) are beautiful in their way. They're small and covered with graffiti, but pretty. Also the Loma Alta Bridge in Pasadena, south of the Colorado Street Bridge. But the Colorado Street Bridge wins the beauty contest.

Mine too, Elizabeth! Maybe we all feel that way.

Right about the arches, Dina. I have a thing about arches.

Hi Benjamin! Hi Skin Care! (Isn't that funny? Skin Care Shop is NOT spam!)

Laurie, I got the best grapes at the South Pas market. I'll email you next time I go. (I had that cold last week and I know how you feel.)

AH, that's eerie! (The other name of Colorado Street Bridge is the Suicide Bridge).

Christie, we have ugly stuff, too. I need to put up pictures of ugly stuff, it's only fair.

Thank you, Chuck!

Bernie!

Bernie K. said...

What—!?
Um. I fell asleep …

Yes?

Stéphane Kardos said...

Thanks for the info Petrea! I'll go have a look :)

Ming the Merciless said...

Awesome photo! I love the lines and shapes here.

Petrea said...

Always nice to see you here, Ming.

Kris said...

Great composition, as usual. Did you find anything unusual beneath this bridge?

Petrea said...

Kris: I was standing under the 134 freeway, looking toward the Colorado Street Bridge. I've found plenty of unusual things under each. Maybe I should create a posting category, "things found under bridges." Under the 134 I've found graffiti, earth-moving machinery, people and even a house, which isn't literally under the bridge but close to it.