7.5 fun facts in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge
The dream of spanning the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937. Pedestrian Day was held on May 27, 1937.
“A Wild Flight of the Imagination” was the title of a promotional pamphlet written in 1922 by chief engineer of the bridge, Joseph Strauss, and city top engineer, Michael O’Shaughnessy.
Theater architect John Eberson originally rendered the bridge’s suspension tower, circa 1930, in his brief work as a consultant to Strauss. One of his more famous theatres in the U.S. is the Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx, New York, which opened in 1929 on the then-thriving Grand Concourse, which was recently restored in 2006.
Eleven men died in the construction of the bridge. 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. The most conspicuous precaution was the safety net, suspended under the floor of the Bridge from end to end. During construction, the net saved the lives of 19 men who became known as the “Halfway-to-Hell Club.”
The Golden Gate Bridge is painted Golden Gate Bridge International Orange which was selected by Consulting Architect Irving F. Morrow.
The 4,200 foot long suspension span of the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest span in the world from the time of its construction in 1937 until New York City’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge was opened on November 21, 1964. It is 60 feet longer than the Golden Gate Bridge.
On Sunday, May 27, 2012 there will be an event celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.