The choice of the "Guardians" as the new name of the Cleveland baseball team has focused great attention on the city and the Hope Memorial Bridge. Yet, that action, in many ways, opens larger questions. For example, how have bridges literally and figuratively spanned "divides" in our community? East Side to West Side is one example. Where have bridges been closed or purposely damaged in order to perpetuate divides? And of course, the new name of the team itself attempts to heal a divide. This presentation will examine the history of bridges and their impact on Cleveland, and also look at the names that have been selected to identify not only our sports teams, but our community over time -- each arguably a creation of its own time, and each often presumed to be fixed and permanent.
This lecture is being offered in partnership with the Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University.