As the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge approaches this Sunday, much has recently been written about the engineering feats that got the structure completed and the human toil and sacrifice (11 men died) during construction from 1933-37.
On our ENR California homepage, there are several related stories you should check out:
“Golden Gate Bridge Celebrates 75th With Help of Engineers,” by the Associated Press, reviews the long and often contentious effort to bring engineer Joseph Strauss’ vision to reality. Though Strauss initially envisioned a hybrid cantilever-suspension bridge in 1921, the design was later revised to a full suspension span – and at three-fourths of a mile long, the largest such bridge in the world.
“The Day the Golden Gate Bridge Flattened,” from the San Jose Mercury News, remembers the 50th anniversary celebration (I do, too, since I was there) that almost turned into a major catastrophe. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the bridge, which sagged 7 ft in the middle of the span, which caused a groaning of metal. Everything turned out okay, though. But even the chief engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District (GGBHTD), Ewa Bauer, says the decision to open the bridge up to the crowds was “just not wise.” So, no visitors on the bridge this time.
Debuting for the birthday bash are several construction and refurbishment projects at the bridge site adjacent to the toll plaza. Jensen Architects and Project Frog teamed up to construct, with the help of Fisher Development Inc., a new, prefab, 86-ft-long Bridge Pavilion building, which features GGB orientation and information services, exhibits and merchandise. Nearby, EHDD designed the refurbishment of the Bridge Round House, which is the staging area for guided tours and home to a new bridge photo experience.
The anniversary celebration is a project of the GGBHTD and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in collaboration with the National Park Service, Presidio Trust and the city and county of San Francisco. The year-long celebration and visitor experience improvements are funded by private contributions, with major underwriting provided by Wells Fargo, Genentech, HP and Kaiser Permanente.
Once the fireworks are done Sunday night, it’s back to the standard awe of a national marvel. Many memories trail this monument; take a look at a series of comments and stories from YouTube.