/ The Boston Guide

Boston’s Bridges To Cambridge

There are two bridges that connect Boston to Cambridge, Boston’s “Left Bank”,  which is located just across the Charles River.  The Longfellow Bridge (Cambridge and Charles St.)(Map)  is a beauty. The arched steel and granite span dates from 1906 and  is named after poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The four granite towers in the center give the bridge its nickname, the “Salt and Pepper” Bridge and the piers below the towers each have an elaborate sculpture of a Viking ship.  The Longfellow is actually a combination bridge that carries vehicles, the MBTA Red line,  and a significant number of pedestrians and cyclists every day. Most visitors to Boston will cross the bridge while using the T to visit Cambridge, be sure to enjoy the view- it offers a terrific vantage point over the water and boating activities of the Charles River Basin.

Further down the Charles, the longest span across the river is the Harvard Bridge (at Massachusetts Ave.)(Map) which is  actually much closer to MIT, and is known by locals as the “MIT Bridge”. The bridge carries cars along the roadway and pedestrians along the adjoining sidewalk. The sidewalk is painted with “smoot” marks along its length, referring to Oliver Smoot, a 5-foot , 7 inch freshman who was used as a human measure for a 1958 fraternity pledge. The length of the  bridge is a little over  364 “smoots”, and if you walk the bridge you can’t miss the markings- MIT students repaint them every semester.

Photo Credit: David Fox, Boston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

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