Batavia bridge has been rededicated

December 21st, 2007    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

A dedication ceremony to mark the return of the four newly-restored lamp posts to the Main Street bridge was held in Batavia Dec. 14.

Devoted to preserving the history of the village for future generations, the Village Association of Batavia has recently had the one-of-a-kind custom made lamp posts completely restored.

The lamp posts, which have been lighting the Main Street Bridge over the East Fork of the Little Miami River since the 1930′s, had become severely damaged due to time and the constant exposure to natural elements over their lengthy and interesting history.

In the 1930′s, a decade of national economic “depression,” the Main Street bridge entering the village was built through the Works Progress Administration, one of the many economic stimulus recovery programs implemented by then president Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The Batavia High School choir sang Christams carols during the walk from Village Hall to the bridge. Front row from left, Michelle Kofard, Jessica Knauer, Amber Losekamp, Danielle Lindsey, and Brandy Chapman. Back row from left, Director Karen Allen, Elena Wood, Sarah Gullion, Abby Clark, Jewel Walker, Meranda Bare, and Taylor Malin.
Originally a small two-lane bridge when it was constructed, it is believed that the lamp posts were installed in 1932. In 1972, it was decided that the bridge should be widened to four lanes and the lamp posts, which were very tall, were cut down to their current size (it is believed that the columns were lowered to accommodate the new bridge size).

As part of the restoration, missing portions of the lamps were fabricated, a total of 20 cracked and broken octagonal glass panels were replaced, one door panel was found and replaced, the poles were stripped and painted green, and the electric was re-wired.

Most of the restoration work was completed by local residents and businesses.

"The four lamp posts are now installed and ready to light the future of the village," said Main Street Program Manager Karen Adams during the Dec. 14 dedication. "These lamp posts represent a piece of our rich and shared village history. The whole community can be proud of these fixtures. They are one of the most unique and identifying features that we have."

Attended by more than 50 people, the dedication ceremony included a candle-lit walk from the village hall to the bridge as the Batavia High School choir sang Christmas carols, dedication comments by Batavia mayor John Thebout, a history of the area and the bridge by county historian Richard Crawford, closing remarks by Adams, and a refreshment reception at Snappy Tomato Pizza.

The VAOB, which estimates that the restoration project will cost $4,000, has already received half of that amount from an anonymous benefactor. Anyone wishing to contribute (and contributions are still needed) can do so in donation boxes located at Fifth Third and Chase Banks or donators can mail a check to the Village Association of Batavia.

"We are asking the community for support because these remarkable lamp posts are something that everyone owns a piece of," said mayor Thebout.
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