Minnesota Attractions

Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge in Loring Park

Discover the amazing architecture of this bridge in Minneapolis

Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge The Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge is a beautiful yellow (adapted from Thomas Jefferson’s home) and blue pedestrian bridge in Minneapolis designed by the famous sculptor Siah Armajani, a local twin-cities artist. When interstate-94was constructed in the late 1960’s, it separated the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden from Loring Park and Lowry hill neighborhoods. A new bridge was built to reconnect these areas again, and is in the form of a whimsical structure. This pedestrian bridge was erected in 1988 and features graceful supporting arches, one facing up and the other down, which is quite neat to see actually.

The bridge crosses sixteen lanes of bustling I-94 traffic and is 379 feet long. It has a beautiful design and offers an amazing view with the opportunity to sight-see and snap some memorable pictures. Like all works from Siah Armajani, the bridge incorporates the written word, complete with poetry by John Ashberry to read on the journey as you walk across its amazing lengths.

Here is a snip-it of information on the artist. On June 28 the McKnight Foundation named Siah Armjani as the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Artist Award. This is an honor that recognizes individuals “who helped lay the foundation for Minnesota’s rich cultural life” and despite opportunities to pursue his work elsewhere, his team chose to stay to make the Minneapolis / St. Paul area even more artistic.

Siah emigrated from Tehran, Iran to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1960 and studied mathematics and philosophy at the Minneapolis based Macalester College. His courses instilled in him a respect for history, democracy and a belief in the responsibility of your own actions, which are major aspects of which would later become the central focus of his artistic practice. It was while completing his education that Armajani rented a studio in downtown Minneapolis. In his off hours he taught himself to paint, producing works of astounding power and lyricism.

As of today, he has created numerous works of art which are on display not only outdoors, but also in art and history museums throughout the city. Please take time to visit his other works of art, one of his paintings is on display in the Walker Art Center. The Minneapolis / Saint Paul areas are forever grateful for his contributions to our wonderful landscapes.

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Mykl Roventine of Flickr

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