Metabolic Studio Twain Tours Historic Bridge Excursions

December 13, 2010 § 1 Comment

View from the North Broadway Bridge's central belvedere - during the December 3rd Twain Tour - photo by Miguel Luna

Last Friday and the Friday before I had a great time showing off a dozen of  my favorite historic bridges in and around Downtown Los Angeles. The events were the Metabolic Studio Twain Tour L.A. Creek Freak Historic Bridges Excursions.

The historic bridges are quite spectacular. I think that tour participants were much more impressed with them than what I had to say about them. I think they really tell of the incredible optimism of early 20th Los Angeles city-builders who were making a big investment in a world-class future.

I’m inspired by Merrill Butler (1891-1963) the city of Los Angeles’ bridge engineer from 1923-1961 -the guiding hand behind our monumental bridges.

Lastly I am saddened that quite a few of these bridges are threatened with demolition – especially the 6th Street Bridge (1932) and the North Spring Street Bridge (1927.) To learn more about these bridges and to get involved in efforts for their preservation, check out the L.A. Conservancy’s bridge pages. Support the L.A. Conservancy! 

Some thank you’s for the recent tours:

Thanks to Lauren Bon and the rest of the Metabolic Studio folks – especially Janet Owen-Driggs, also John, Geoff, Paolo, Lisa, Meredith, and others. Huge thanks to our excellent driver Laura!

Thanks to guest conversationalists: Matt Coolidge, Paula Daniels, James Rojas, Eloy Torrez, and Mike Woo.

Thanks to my guinea pig friends who came on my initial test-run and gave me valuable notes that helped revise the tour: Aaron, Kate and Rex.

Twain Tour map

If you want to locate the bridges, or try taking the tour on your own, check out my hand-drawn tour map at my art blog. There’s quite a bit more bridge information in my book Down by the Los Angeles River (Wilderness Press, 2005.) For some great images, see the Historic American Engineering Record drawings (2000) and Aaron’s tour photos. Added: and Colleen’s tour photos.

I am hoping to possibly do a few more of these tours in the coming year – keep your RSS tuned to L.A. Creek Freak.

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