History of Calgary – Then & Now – Centre Street Bridge
- Built in 1916
- Concrete and steel construction
- Renovations performed in 2001
- Four lions – two north, two south
- Historical YYC structure
In just a years’ time Calgary’s Centre Street Bridge will become a century old! Originally built in 1916, it was constructed by the city to replace the MacArthur Bridge, a steel truss bridge that was destroyed during a flood the year before.
Designed by John F. Green, the Centre Street Bridge`s aesthetic appeal has been up kept and renovated by the city with complete renovations performed in 2001 resulting in its closure at the time for one year.
The bridge itself features both an upper and lower roadway as well as cantilevered walkways along the sides of the upper section allowing pedestrians to cross the bridge.
Meanwhile the bridges lower section has a very small clearance – at only 2.3 metres (or 8 foot 10 inches) – and has seen its fair share of traffic jams due to over-height vehicles attempting to cross and getting stuck. See more defining Calgary Landmarks here.
The Four Lions
If you have ever seen Centre Street Bridge, you probably noticed the four distinct lion sculptures on its ends. During the renovations back in 2001, these casted lions were replaced with replicas and put into long-term storage only later to be placed at various C-Train stations along the recently opened West LRT line.
Today, the Centre Street Bridge and its four concrete casted lions stand guard to way goers coming to and from downtown from the north end of the city.
The original set of lions were casted by a Scottish mason by the name of James L. Thompson and were modelled after the bronze lions found at the base of Nelson`s Column in Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom. Each lion sits on top of an ornamental engraved pavilion with two facing north on the north end of the bridge and two south looking into downtown.
The Centre Street Bridge and its lions were named as a Municipal Historic Resource for YYC back in 1992 and remains one of the most long-standing structures in the entire city. See more History of Calgary – Then & Now visual comparisons today!
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