Hugman Sites Tour

Monday, August 22, 2016

2. Mill Bridge

This is historically the widest place along the Great Bend, and remains so. A dam once held water that powered a mill above the northern bank, as recalled in the colorful WPA tile mural by Ethel Harris on the northern wall. This Mill Bridge was completed in 1923 in a design reminiscent of the Pont Neuf in Paris. Hugman chose its northernmost arch to shelter the River Walk’s first marina. Passengers could wait on three distinctive concrete benches below the mural. The third bench was removed for construction of the adjacent hotel and reinstalled in the lobby.

Hugman sought to enhance the natural beauty of the southern bank with a system of limestone walls and landscaping. Throughout the project he favored accents of natural cedar logs for gondola mooring posts, lightposts, railings and large benches, several of which remain here. In the river he envisioned ―floating islands,‖ essentially anchored houses for waterfowl. Though these were not put in, we do have one real island, a tiny patch often used for weddings.

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