Coronado Bridge Architect Passes Away at 94

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Robert Mosher, a La Jolla architect who most famously designed the Coronado Bridge, died July 26 at the age of 94.

The designer was the first of a new breed of postwar modern architects who changed the look of modern cities.

The two-mile curving Coronado Bridge opened in August 1969 to great acclaim, a year later winning the "Most Beautiful Bridge" Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction, according to the architect's website.

Construction on the bridge took two years and cost $5 million. The bridge's signature curves were a necessary design feature to leave enough room for Navy ships to pass underneath.

"I was only the architect and designer who figured out the way it looked, I didn’t figure out how much steel to put in the pylons, but I can take credit for the look of it." Mosher once said of the bridge.

He also notably designed an early version of the La Jolla Playhouse, the west wing of the San Diego Museum of Art and the NBC Building in downtown San Diego. Mosher also oversaw the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

“His view of modernism was much more about the quality of the human spirit,” said Larry Hoeksema, principal and former president of Architects Mosher Drew, the firm Mosher founded with business partner Roy Drew in San Diego in 1948. “The human element and how people interact and move through and around [a building] was something they were very much concerned about.”

Mosher died of natural causes in his La Jolla apartment Sunday and is survived by his wife, a son and daughter from two previous marriages, a granddaughter and brother.

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