Today marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate bridge to vehicular traffic. It officially opened on May 27th, 1937 to pedestrian traffic. I had the opportunity to visit the bridge last October with my family while we were traveling from Seattle to Disneyland. We knew we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see this engineered masterpiece. It was a beautiful day and the bridge was so vibrant against the clear blue sky. We had a wonderful time walking to the first station with our girls — Grace used her scooter to help her make the trek and we brought the stroller for Faith. I can’t really put into words how big (and a little frightening) the bridge is from a pedestrian perspective. It was such a neat experience (the good weather helped), and I recommend that you definitely try to visit it if you’re in the area. It’s estimated that around 9 million people from around the world visit the bridge each year!
Have you ever wondered why it is called the Golden Gate Bridge? It is named after the The Golden Gate Strait which is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It is thought that the strait was named “Chrysopylae”, or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846. It reminded him of a harbor in Instanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn. The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots. (Source: goldengate.org)
Recently Lonely Planet posted an article about 15 things you [probably] didn’t know about the Golden Gate Bridge. Check it out if you want to find out:
- What’s That Color?
- Why not to let the US Navy pick your color scheme
- Why the guy who built the bridge wasn’t very nice
- Does the Golden Gate Bridge have something to do with the Gold Rush?
- The bridge’s biggest threat
- Why Spain should’ve looked east
- The Golden Gate is the one of two 75 year old bridges in San Francisco
- How they saved Fort Point
- The sad side of the Golden Gate Bridge
- The bridge builders survival rate
- Hangover Juice — read it to find out!
- How to pay your toll with false teeth
- The bridge’s link to poetry
- When the Golden Gate was no longer the longest suspension bridge
- Why art can’t seem to capture the Golden Gate’s beauty