During our trip to San Francisco and Berkeley, we wanted an up-close and personal experience with San Francisco’s most iconic landmark. We’d driven over the Golden Gate Bridge aka Chrysopylae, as it was named by Captian John C. Fremont, many times, but this was the first time we walked across it. And yes, it’s touristy, but worth it to stand below with eyes to the sky, jaw gaping, marveling at its architectural genius.
It’s a brilliant example of American exceptionalism where the ‘sky was the limit’ and a dream was made into reality. At the time of the bridge’s completion in 1937, it was the longest span in the world until the Verrazano Narrows Bridge was built in New York in 1964. Today, it still has the ninth-longest suspension span in the world.
- The Golden Gate Bridge’s paint color is orange vermillion, also called international orange.
- The project cost more than $35 million. Today, the project would cost over $1.2 billion dollars.
- Until February 17, 1937, there had been only one fatality, setting a new all-time record in a field where one man killed for every million dollars spent had been the norm. On February 17, ten more men lost their lives when a section of scaffold carrying twelve men fell through the safety net.
- On opening day, May 27, 1937, the San Francisco Chronicle referred to the Golden Gate Bridge as a thirty-five million dollar steel harp!
- As of May 30, 2012, 1,970,331,117 vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (includes northbound and southbound) since opening to traffic on May 28, 1937.
- No you cannot spread a loved one’s ashes over the bridge. Under California Penal Code Section 219.3, any person who willfully drops or throws any object or missile from any toll bridge is guilty of a misdemeanor.
For more facts, head to the official Golden Gate website.
“I have known her for 15 years, and she is more beautiful than ever … Her hair is usually a copper-red, and she has enormous feet, but once you have seen her bathing in the sun, she becomes a woman you will never forget.” – Dean Jennings, The Chronicle, 1952
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