Saturday, July 24, 2021

Road to Cleveland


Cleveland has a new baseball team. Actually, it's the old baseball team, but it has a new name: The Guardians. What, though, is being guarded? The galaxy? Oh, I think the Milky Way can take care of itself.

Motorists, on the other hand, can always use a little safeguarding.

This strapping, shirtless young man is one of eight Guardians of Transportation, Art Deco statues made of sandstone that stand on both sides of four 43-foot tall pylons that greet or bid adieu to drivers entering or exiting Downtown Cleveland on the former Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, completed in 1932, which since November 1983 has been called (at least officially) the Hope Memorial Bridge, named after...

 ...William Henry Hope, a member of a...

...local crew of stonemasons (I've stared at this photo for a half an hour and am still not sure which one) who helped build the statues.

Here's William Henry's son, Leslie Townes Hope. The local media often describes him as a native Clevelander, though he's not quite that as he spent his first year in England ("I left when I found out I couldn't be king.")

Anyway, the Hope Memorial Bridge is one of several ways that people living in Cleveland's West Side or in its western suburbs (as I do) can travel if they want to see the Guardians play at Progressive Field, named after an insurance company, which also looks after motorists, though, unlike the 43-foot tall pylons, one does have to pay premiums.

Play ball!


  1. The stonework is monumental. I miss that kind of workmanship. Welcome the Guardians! Good riddance Indians! Good job, Cleveland.

    1. I love Art Deco, Mitchell, which was a kind of an early-machine age spin on the more traditionally ornate ideas of design and architecture. And most of the time, I can RECOGNIZE the style, so that's always a plus. The pylon/statues were designed by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Welker, two names I learned just last night (or early this morning) even though the latter was a Cleveland boy with several other well-known buildings (to those of us who live here) scattered about the area. It was worth changing the name of the baseball team just so I can do this post and show off the Guardians of Transportation.

  2. Progressive Field?

    I'm agin it!!!

    I only support Far Right Conservative fields and W.C. Fields! (Negatory to gay rights advocate Sally Field!)

    I'm writing-in "Denny Crane" on the ballot.

    Hi, Kirk!

    So, the name "Indians" was discontinued? Is it because the term was considered un-PC? Forgive my ignorance, but my inquiring mind (such as it is) wants to know. I hope that with a bold new name, The Guardians will guard that pennant and that World Series cup. Do you attend the pro baseball games? How about other major league sports in the Cleveland area? In my youth I went to York White Roses games. Not a very macho name for that team, huh? (Denny Crane no likey!) I was also close enough to attend Phillies and Orioles games. Those statues are amazing, an achievement on par with the building of the great pyramids!

    Have a super weekend, good buddy Kirk!

    1. Shady, when was the last time you've seen a sports-related post on this blog? Obviously, sports takes second place to such weighty matters as 1970s-era sitcoms and celebrity deaths. But maybe I should do sports more often. According to my stats, one of my most popular posts, in terms of accumulative viewings--currently 1.65k views--is one I did on the Cleveland Browns back in 2010:

      Getting back to the Cleveland Indians--they're still called that until the end of the 2021 season--this has been a subject of controversy for years, a controversy exacerbated by red-faced, big-nosed, buck-toothed Chief Wahoo, the team's cartoon logo (if you're interested, here's some background on that: Just getting rid of Wahoo, as happened four years ago, was considered controversial, and, truth be told, Wahoo is still a common enough sight in Northeast Ohio, on posters and yard signs and the like, even if he's no longer on the players uniforms. The whole controversy really came to a head a few years ago when, at one of the games, a fan decked out in war paint and feathers was confronted by a much more-modestly dressed real-life Native American:

      The photo received much, much, much media attention, and was probably the beginning of the end of the Indians name.

  3. I like the new name, the logo and the linkage to the guardian figures on the bridge!

  4. Hi Kirk, This change has been brewing for a long while--I wonder what brought the issue to a head? The new name is ok, I guess, but that calligraphy in the logo, for which you just know they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, is awkward and ugly--lumpy and hard to read. I say we mount a new campaign to get rid of that logo.

    1. Jim, as I told Shady, they're still the Indians until the end of the season. The calligraphy could change by then.

  5. Cool post!!!!! Very intresting too. When the Lad lived in Cleveland I know I must have seen them because I remember going over the bridge as he said it's name. But why I don't recall seeing them is odd. I must have had some gin.

    I just wish I had their perfect lips.

  6. Is the Lad a native Clevelander, Maddie? Interesting. The statues may be less noticeable when you're on the bridge itself and right up next to them then they are in photographs taken from a relative distance.

    As for the perfect lips, just think, no Botox went into the making of those statues!


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