Suburban Skyview: Batavia's Peace Bridge spreads joyful message

  • The pedestrian and bicycle bridge in picturesque downtown Batavia also is known as the Peace Bridge.

      The pedestrian and bicycle bridge in picturesque downtown Batavia also is known as the Peace Bridge. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/7/2022 1:27 PM

The pedestrian and bicycle bridge also known as the Peace Bridge in downtown Batavia was transformed in 2008 by Craig Foltos, owner of Foltos Tonsorial Parlor barbershop and a lifelong Batavian.

Each fall, workers lift the plywood letters -- 12 feet tall by 8 feet wide -- onto the upper steel beams of the bridge.

 

Foltos believes all people should strive for peace. He thought the bridge would make a nice showpiece to promote his Christmastime wish.

The letters, when assembled, make a strong statement.

They are attached with hooks to the south side of the metal bridge and are viewed by more that 20,000 commuters who drive through town each day.

"The letters have a deep significance of community," said Allison Niemela, executive director at the Batavia Park District.

When you glance to the north while crossing the Wilson Street bridge, "you can't help but feel good about life," she said.

In March, the park board decided the sign will become a permanent fixture, up year-round, Niemela said.

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