It took a decade of bitter argument and lobbying, more than four years of construction, and the lives of eleven workers, but the Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937 and it's been central to San Francisco's images, imagination and iconography ever since. Whether part of a tourist's unforgettable memory, or the indelible image of a loved one's tragic suicide, the bridge is as recognizable as the Great Pyramids. In film, it's been bitten by a giant octopus and used as a backdrop for Fort Point in Hitchcock's Vertigo. It rose during the Great Depression when little else was doing so, and for those of us in a long-term relationship with the bridge, it always looks new, no matter what the angle.
One of the best descriptions of what the bridge means to us as residents was summed up by a commenter, xbarx1:
...I never lost the sense of amazement delivered by this bridge. Riding up the hill to the entrance to the Marin Headlands always included a stop to turn and look at the view of the bridge with San Francisco in the background. I saw ships go under the bridge, whales breach a mile off in open ocean, watched the Oakland Hills burning, mornings when the towers were enveloped in fog, and even felt a small quake rattle the bridge under my tires. I've lived in many places, visited many more, and my rides across that bridge are still on my list of top 5 things I've ever done. Joseph Strauss has, over the decades, gotten most of the credit for the bridge, but he didn't pull this off alone. Kudos to Wikipedia for documenting the contributions of others, including Leon Moisseiff, who came up with the final Art Deco suspension bridge we hold so dear today. We've taken a look back at the construction with 1930s images from the archival holdings of the Golden Gate Highway & Transportation District via the 75th Anniversary site of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
· Orange 75-Year-Old Makes Grown Men Cry [Curbed SF]
· Golden Gate Bridge [Wikipedia]
· Golden Gate Images [GGHT]
· 75th Anniversary [GGNPC]
· Golden Gate Bridge Coverage [Curbed SF]