Butt Memorial Bridge
|Butt Memorial Bridge|
The Butt Memorial Bridge is a road bridge in Augusta, Georgia dedicated to Major Archibald Willingham Butt, a victim of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The bridge was erected in 1914 and dedicated by President William Howard Taft, a personal friend of Butt's. It is notable that the bridge was the first memorial erected to remember the Titanic disaster, and it stands today as the only memorial in Georgia dedicated to the disaster. The bridge is made of stone, featuring four pillars topped with bronze-banded globes placed over electric lights. Four lions with plaques adorn each side and end of the bridge, while lights are strung from one end of the bridge to the other. A memorial plaque is located on the center of the bridge, dedicated to Butt's memory. The bridge spans the Augusta Canal at 15th Street in the downtown area.
In 1994, the fate of the Butt Bridge (as it is affectionately known in Augusta) was in doubt. City planners wished to get $15 million from the Federal Highway Administration to reroute 15th street, creating a new thoroughfare. Plans called for the demolishing of the Butt Bridge. Locals created a popular movement to save the 80 year old bridge, producing two large-scale concerts nearby, punningly called the Butt Jam. One took place in 1994 and another in 1995. Several well-known bands of the time played the venue and the unofficial slogan, "Save Our Butt," appeared all over town.
The money generated helped stave off the destruction of the bridge for a few years, until an Act of Congress saved it. This act was passed through the efforts of the Butt Memorial Bridge Legal Defense Fund, Representative Charlie Norwood and actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. The Butt Memorial Bridge remains the only memorial to the Titanic located in Georgia.
- Pavey, Robert. "Fate of Butt Bridge is unclear". Augusta Chronicle. 1996-06-21.
- Media related to Butt Memorial Bridge at Wikimedia Commons