Golden Gate Bridge * Golden Gate * Joseph Baerman Strauss
"The bridge that couldn't be built" opened in 1937, connecting San Francisco and Marin Counties across the Golden Gate, a narrow strait of water connecting the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. The bridge is named  for the strait of water, and not its color, which while unique, is not gold at all, but International Orange. 

The bridge has become a symbol of San Francisco, California and is even used as a symbol of the United States, especially around the Pacific Rim. While there was concern that the man-made structure would ruin the natural beauty of the Bay Area, the Golden Gate Bridge has now enhanced the region, and homes, apartments and hotel rooms with bridge views are commonly more expensive than those without.  

The vaguely Art Deco styled towers of the Golden Gate Bridge stand 746ft high, and the bridge has a mid-span sway of 27ft off center to help it stand against the winds that can move through the Golden Gate at speeds up to 100mph. The main span of the bridge is 4,200ft long, which made it the longest bridge in the world when it opened (passing the record held for a year by its bay sister, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge). 

The bridge's construction introduced many firsts in worker safety. The prototype for the hard hat was first used in the construction of this bridge, safety nets (which saved the lives of nineteen workers) were premiered here, special diets to help workers fight dizziness and sun protecting lotions were all used to make this project as safe as possible for workers. 

The bridge was the subject of a controversial documentary, called The Bridge,  in 2004 that showed 23 of the 24 suicides from the bridge that happened during that year. The bridge is the world's top suicide destination, but proposals to add a suicide barrier have always failed, not wanting to ruin the aesthetic qualities of the structure. (The bridge also has no center divider for traffic lanes, and is the site of several head-on collisions each year.)

The bridge is a suspension bridge, meaning that the two large towers are compression members that support the cables. The cables are used as tension members, and the weight of the roadway is hung from these. (The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge, not a suspension bridge.)

Eleven men died during the construction of the bridge, which took four and a half years during the Great Depression. 

If you guessed...
the Brooklyn Bridge, you knew it was a famous bridge, but are perhaps color-blind. Add to that, style-blind, materials-blind and probably geographically challenged as well.
If you guessed...
the Guy West Bridge, hmmmmm. I really can't help you with that one.




geography leisure & recreation architecture, art & design tourism & attractions facilities landscape architecture & urban planning putting it all together (the spectacular)

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