Designed by Robert Adam and completed by 1774, the Pulteney Bridge, which crosses the River Avon in Bath, England, connects the historic city with land that the wealthy Pulteney family originally wished to develop as a suburb. It is exceptional in that it is one of only four bridges in the world to have shops built across its full span on both sides, similar to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy and the Ponte di Rialto in Venice, Italy.
By the end of the 18th century, the bridge had been damaged by floods, but was rebuilt to a similar design, measuring 148 feet long and 58 feet wide. Over the next century, alterations to the shops included cantilevered extensions. During the 20th century, the bridge was further preserved and partially returned it to its original appearance. Although there have been various plans to pedestrianize the bridge, it is still used by buses and taxis. The street and buildings sit above 3 equal segmented arches. Built of limestone in a classic Palladian style, the southern façade has a temple-like central bay with symmetrical wings connecting to two flanking, terminating pavilions. The central bay, supported by austere Doric pilasters, is flanked by two smaller bays, each with a small pointed pediment supported by shallow pilasters. The focal point of the building is a large Palladian window topped by a central broken pediment. A pair of small ocular windows are also placed symmetrically at mezzanine level beneath the central broken pediment.
- Viewed: 2017