76. Sunshine Skyway Bridge #105architecturalinspirations

76. Sunshine Skyway Bridge #105architecturalinspirations

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans 21,877′ or approximately 4.1 miles over Tampa Bay, Florida. The cable-stayed main span was dedicated in 1987 costing 244 million. The steel and concrete structure uses the structural form to create beauty. Designed by engineering firm, Figg and Muller Engineering Group, this structure creates a beautiful experience while driving under the supports. The idea of using structural members to create beauty is common with bridges. The movement created while driving under the cables gave an almost poetic experience.

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#105architecturalinspirations is a collection of architectural details, buildings, and spaces that inspire me. Full List of previous #105architecturalinspiration posts 1 – 20. First 20 architectural inspirations here21. Michael Graves 22. St. Augustine 23. Guggenheim Museum24. Ocho House25.Bjarke Ingels 26. WG Clark 27. John F. Kennedy Space Center 28.Akademie Mont-Cenis 29. Sustainability Treehouse 30. Porch Rail 31.Martin Lurther King Jr. Memorial 32. Warehouse Renvoation33.Architectural Salvage Warehouse 34. Thorncrown Chapel 35.Gabion Wall 36.Rectorat de Guyane Library  37. North Bay House 38.Old Ranch Road Barn 39.Eagle Rock Residence 40.Pratt Street Power Plant 41.United Therapeutics Field House 42. Porch House 43. Headwaters 44.Ben’s Barn 45. Kevin Mundy Memorial Bridge 46.  Thrupp + Summers House 47.Madrona Residence 48. Pixel Building 49.National Constitution Center 50.Falling Water 51. Wainwright Building 52. Merle’s Drive-In53. Green Office Building 54. Edgeland House 55.Kansas City Public Library  56.Villa Savoye 57.Fenway Park Farm 58. Bryan Innovation Lab 59. Dog Trot House 60. Recoversao de um Palheiro em Cortegaca 61. The Medium 62. Peaks View Residence 63. House in a Warehouse  64. Charleston City Market 65. Happy Valley Middle – Elementary School 66. Moon Dazzler 67. Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay68. 3D Printed House 69. Gateway Arch 70. CityGarden 71. Casa Batlló 72. Wild Turkey Bourbon Visitors Center 73. Colorado Ranch 74. Eiffel Tower 75. UT Art and Architecture Building

One Comment Add yours

  1. Phil Kniss says:

    So glad you included this one, Charles. I have a long and emotional connection to the Sunshine Skyway. I drove over this bridge four times over the Christmas break, each time prompting a flood of memories, with which I regaled my traveling companions.

    My memories go back to its predecessor, a two-lane steel cantilever bridge (https://www.floridamemory.com/fpc/prints/pr01108.jpg), which our family crossed at least four times a week for a while in the late 60s, en route between St. Petersburg and Sarasota. The bridge was symbolic of a major transition for our family, involving a pivotal move back to Sarasota. Often when we crossed the Sunshine Skyway, I would stick my head out the car window and look straight down when we were on the top, looking straight through the open steel grid surface to the waves breaking below us. I could never cross without sober thoughts about the numerous despairing people who jumped off the bridge to their deaths. Each time it happened, it was in our local news. The experience of being that high in the air, looking down at the water, and thinking about those people, gripped me every time.

    I also remember when the bridge’s twin was built, expanding it to four lanes.

    And I vividly recall the tragedy in May 1980 when one of the spans collapsed after the ship struck it, a few months before my wedding to Irene. As often as I crossed that bridge in my life, I couldn’t help imagining the “what ifs.”

    Irene and I drove over the remaining span (now two lanes again) 30 minutes after our wedding, in our getaway car, en route to our first honeymoon stopover in St. Petersburg. As we drove over it, the sight of the adjacent highway suddenly disappearing into thin air was striking, indeed.

    Now, the new version of the Sunshine Skyway still amazes me with its graceful strength and functional beauty, and when in the area I find any excuse I can to pay the toll, and drive over this awe-inspiring structure.

    Liked by 1 person

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