Is It Art? Hoan Bridge

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The Daniel Hoan Bridge. Photo by Dan Reiner.

Can a bridge be art? Maybe yes, maybe no. The Daniel Hoan Bridge, one of Milwaukee’s iconic lakefront landmarks, might be considered art. After all, it’s woven into the city’s character, and its shocking yellow arch is hard to ignore.

Emily Fischer, a Marquette student also studying graphic design at MIAD, believes that only in extreme and well-done cases can architecture be considered art.

“In (most cases), you run into the problem of form being more important than function, but with architecture, function needs to be utmost concern, not form,” Fischer says.

Here function leaves something to be desired. The bridge is known for traffic backups, exacerbated by two years of lane closures, which recently came to an end.

“If you think about iconic and well-kept bridges, like the Golden Gate Bridge, that stands out to people as being worthy of art,” Fischer says.

Depending on whether or not you believe a bridge is art, some people might have a bridge to sell you.


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