June 3, 1952
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law enacted
in 1949 called for construction of a hundred-meter-wide road that would
run east and west through central Hiroshima and pass Peace Memorial Park
on it south end. The roadway would be flanked by green zones lined by walking
paths. Public solicitation for a name resulted in the selection of "Peace
Boulevard" in 1951. A campaign soliciting tree donations gradually filled
both sides of the boulevard with trees.
The bridges that provide access to Peace Memorial Park on Peace Boulevard are Peace Bridge over the Motoyasu West Peace Bridge (River and Nishi-heiwa-ohashi ) over the Honkawa River.
The name "Peace Bridge" was selected from over 1,400 entries in a naming contest that offered a reward to the winner. Peace Bridge is designed to evoke a sunrise (the future) while West Peace Bridge (River and Nishi-heiwa-ohashi ) is designed to evoke a sunset (the past). The arresting designs by American sculptor Isamu Noguchi drew criticism from the City Council and private citizens who feared that "the caterpillar-shaped handrail would not prevent children from falling in the river." The bridge was finally built with a handrail 20 centimeters higher than originally designed.
However, Professor Kenzo Tange showed his regard for the bridge when he said, "This fine bridge sets off my design for Peace Memorial Park.