It’s an icon, a landmark, a beautiful sight when driving south from Sonoma. When movie directors want to localize their scene in San Francisco, they skillfully display it. Everyone will recognize it and nobody need another cinema sin for displaying the city name on the screen. I’m talking about the Golden Gate Bridge!
Of course, if it’s a bridge, then it’s over something. The Golden Gate (not the bridge) is a strait that connects the bay to the ocean. I remember learning that it was extremely difficult for navigators to see the passage from the ocean. According to Wikipedia:
The strait was surprisingly elusive for early European explorers, presumably due to this persistent summer fog.
Ah! It was Karl‘s fault all this time. Yes, for those who don’t know, we named our fog up there, and it even has a Twitter account.
And the greek name of the Golden Gate is Chrysophylae, named by Captain John Frémont in his memoirs.
As for the bridge, here are some key dates:
- In 1872, railroad entrepreneur Charles Crocker calls for a bridge across the Golden Gate strait.
- In August 1919 San Francisco’s city engineer, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy was asked by the city to explore the possibility of building a bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait.
- Joseph Baermann Strauss came up with a first design proposal on June 28, 1921
This first design is what the Golden Gate Bridge could have looked like:
- Thankfully, the public voiced their opposition, and the final design, that we know and like, was approved in December 1922.
- Construction began on January 5, 1933 with a $35M bond issue. The bridge opened on May 27, 1937, four years later.
- And on February 22, 1985 the one billionth driver crossed the span.
Additional online resources: