Pensacola’s Graffiti Bridge
In Pensacola, FL, there is a bridge where painters have been going since 1935. Known as the Graffiti Bridge, the local law actually permits spray-painting. The only rule: if you paint over something, your piece should be better.
The next stop on our road trip took us to Pensacola, FL, where we finally pulled in to our hotel for the evening. After such a long day on the road, we immediately hit the hay. The next morning, we woke, bright and refreshed, eager to continue on. Thankfully, there were a couple of sights right in Pensacola we were looking forward to seeing. First up: The Graffiti Bridge.
As the Graffiti Bridge name implies, this was a bit of an interactive stop. With a can of spray paint, we could have easily added our mark to the ever-changing mural on the bridge. Originally known as the 17th Ave Railroad Trestle, people have been adding their own mark to the structure since 1935. Thanks to a provision in the local law, the bridge exterior is exempt from city vandalism ordinances. Basically, the only rule (and it’s an unspoken one) is if your spray painting over something, your piece should be better.
Still, we felt more comfortable just viewing the structure as it stands, and had a lot of fun looking at all of the different marks left by previous visitors. Now, of course, the spray painting has expanded (just like at Cadillac Ranch) to include not only the bridge but the parking lot, the light poles, and anything within viewing distance. While this may be going a bit over and above the original idea that Pensacola seemed to welcome (and it’s actually illegal to paint anywhere other than the bridge exterior), it does make for an interesting sight when viewed as a whole. Even the part of the bridge that spans over the nearby water has been covered – that’s a couple of dedicated painters!
With easy access via a parking lot, this site, like Texas’ Cadillac Ranch and San Luis Obispo’s Bubblegum Alley, is ever-changing, and you can be sure it will look different every time you visit. Sure, it’s weird, but you can’t say the same about, say, the Washington Monument, now can you?
Check out the pics below, and stay tuned to see where we stop next in Pensacola!