The Archway Monument memorializes America’s great western migration along the Oregon and California trails. Spanning Interstate 80 near Kearney, Nebraska, the archway resembles an enormous covered bridge. Its striking appearance invites travelers to stop and visit the museum. Once inside, visitors learn that the archway commemorates the Pony Express trail, the Transcontinental Railroad, the first interstate paved highway and the first completed Interstate (I-80).
Bloomer Studio ornaments often blend history, tradition, and local features of the landscape into a well-unified composition. For the Archway, the Studio designed a horse leaping triumphantly through 25-foot wings as the principal icon to crown the towers of the monument. The horse not only recalls the famous Pony Express, but also represents the country’s relentless drive westward. Wings have always symbolized movement, but in this case, they also refer to the Sandhill cranes whose annual migration route crosses the site. Further connecting the building to its site is a trellis spanning the entire 315-foot length of the bridge. The trellis runs between the two sets of wings, and its undulating lines reference the nearby Platte River. Fabricated from unpainted aluminum sheet and pipe, the entire composition glistens in the sunlight, a symbolic reminder of the region’s rich history.
Architect: Peter Dominick of the Urban Design Group
Merit Award for Innovative Design and Excellence in Architecture, AISC 2002
Outstanding Achievement Award, THEA 2001
Great Platte River Road Archway Monument