Together, we are all... pic.twitter.com/R5FnT4kv1I— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
You may have heard by now that the Cleveland MLB team, eights months after announcing they would change their name, will officially be called the Cleveland Guardians at the end of the current season. Now, before you make a joke about Guardians of the Galaxy, there is a perfectly local explanation for the new name, eight sentinels known to all Cleveland residents who pass over the Hope Memorial Bridge, possibly on the way to see a baseball game. They are the Guardians of Traffic.
Flanking either end of the Hope Memorial Bridge from both sides, are 4 towering pylons. Each pylon bears a massive statue on each side representing a "Guardian of Traffic." These winged Art Deco figures wear either winged helmets or winged laurel crowns. Each figure holds a different ground vehicle: a hay wagon, covered wagon, stage coach, passenger car, dump truck, concrete mixer, and two other trucks. The progression of vehicles from hay wagon to semi truck symbolizes the evolution of transport, and the breadth of their protection. They have stood on either side of the bridge protecting all who pass between them since the early 30's.
Henry Hering carved each piece out of a 43 foot tall sandstone slab based on designs by Frank Walker. The Guardians were Hering's first foray into the Art Deco style and they remain the only public Art Deco monument in the city.