Tuesday, January 5, 2016

About Detroit's New Bridge

As Detroit remakes and reinvents itself, it needs to grab every opportunity to stand out to the world. This means grabbing every opportunity to show itself as a significant center of new art.

Plans are afoot from various parties for a new bridge to Canada-- whether near the Ambassador Bridge or further downriver.

Why not create the new bridge as an intentional work of art-- and thereby capture the imagination of the world?

This is exactly what was done in New York City 129 years ago when the Brooklyn Bridge was constructed. Its creators set out to create a bridge visually distinctive, unlike any that had ever existed. They wanted it to be as important as sculpture. An artwork. This included incorporating gothic arches in it, as a nod to Europe's gothic cathedrals.

Another classic example of engineering as art is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, erected as a symbol of the modern. The city became the center of artistic modernism.

Can Detroit become the New Paris?

Detroit's builders, politicians, financiers and artists need the imagination to be as ambitious as possible. They need to have the mission of making Detroit an arts city-- the surest way to attract attention, credibility, people, and investment-- along with the mystique and magic that accompanies art. A new bridge to Canada provides the opportunity to create a lasting foundation for future growth. The kind of architectural event that will be talked about for decades and centuries to come.

Will the city's (and state's) leaders grab this chance?

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