The gold Gate leg spans the three-mile-long (4.8 kilometers) gold Gate Strait connecting the Marin Headlands to the city of mountain Francisco. Perfect in 1937 after 4 years that dangerous, complex work, the leg stands together a testament to human ingenuity and intelligence.

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Before the gold Gate bridge was constructed, lot of the only Area was connected by ferry services. In the so late 19th century, mountain Francisco was among the fastest developing cities in the unified States, but it struggle a significant speed bump as it started to develop into a major city center. V a absence of quick, trusted transportation (especially after the advancement of the affordable auto in the early 20th century), the city stagnated and stopped growing. Back the ferry business was well-known at the time, plenty of locals called for a leg to be constructed so that people could travel an ext easily and quickly. One of the first propositions to be to have a huge suspension bridge constructed over Fort suggest at the pointer of the golden Gate Strait.


Fact: Fort suggest was originally the Spanish-held Castillo de mountain Joaquin and also was developed in 1794 v an adobe structure housing nine to 13 cannons.

Although proposals had been about since the late 19th century, plenty of engineers and also architects thought it difficult to build a bridge over together a long channel, with its solid tides, deep water (372 feet in ~ its deepest) and also heavy outbursts that wind and fog. That wasn’t until 1916 that James Wilkins, a former engineering student, produced one of the first feasible proposals because that a complex bridge costing around $100 million (over $2 billion in today’s money). Although numerous shrugged turn off the idea, engineer and also poet Joseph Strauss believed he could pull off the difficult feat. Following concerns from the department of War and the completing ferry services, Strauss finally began construction in 1933,

Fact: The gold Gate Strait was originally called Chrysopylae (or gold Gate) by US military Captain man C Frémont. Supposedly, the reminded that of a port in Istanbul called Chrysoceras, or golden Horn.


Although Joseph Strauss is remembered together the key engineer and also designer behind the golden Gate Bridge, he ended up having very little to execute with its top look. Strauss, although achieved at building smaller inland bridges, had actually never perfect a work of this scale and also magnitude. Like any great leader, that pooled engineering and also design talent from all over the country. The three significant heads under him to be Leon Moisseiff (who draft the Manhattan Bridge), Irving Morrow and also Charles Ellis. Morrow, a reasonably unknown architect at the time, added some the the most essential designs to the bridge, as he envisioned the in its entirety shape of the bridge’s towers, its light scheme, its arts Deco elements and the renowned international orange color.

Fact: The us Navy originally planned to repaint the bridge with black and also yellow stripes to ensure visibility because that passing ships.


On January 5 1933, the $35 million job began. As of 2016, it’s tho unknown how plenty of worked top top the bridge, together there to be 10 prime contractors and their records have unfortunately been shed to time. Strauss was strict around keeping the job on schedule and often oversaw the day-to-day construction. The bridge was ultimately completed on might 27 1937, purportedly under budget due come Strauss’s supervision.


At the time of completion, the golden Gate leg was the longest suspension leg in the civilization (it was exceeded in 1964 by the Verrazano-Narrows bridge in brand-new York City). During building of the bridge, end 1.2 million steel rivets were used to hold the leg together; on average, one tower segment contains over 60,000 rivets. The huge sections the cable ~ above the leg were do from end 27,000 individual stole wires and also over 80 miles precious of cable was used.

Fact: as of today, the Akashi Kaikyō bridge in Japan is the longest suspension bridge in the civilization at a staggering 1.24 miles long.

One the the many innovative features of the building and construction of the leg was an idea forwarded through Strauss to cave a vast safety net under the bridge so the if workers dropped they would certainly (hopefully) be saved from a cold watery death in the Pacific. Even with this security net, 11 men died during the project; one dropped past the net and also 10 rather perished once a chunk the scaffolding dropped with them and also destroyed the security barrier. Back 11 deaths is nothing come shrug off, this was seen as monumental achievement, as building work at the time was very dangerous; a ‘mere’ 11 deaths was seen as a blessing. The implantation of tough hats and the rigorous safety standards by Strauss saved the stays of many workers and also created the Halfway come Hell Club, which made up 19 guys who made it through a autumn into the safety net.


Fact: Members of the Halfway to Hell Club became celebrities in the only Area, and one member, Al Zampa, also had a play produced about his exploits top top the gold Gate Bridge.

The bridge opened on might 27 1937. The opened celebration the the gold Gate bridge lasted because that over a week and around 200,000 civilization crossed the bridge prior to traffic was enabled on it. It was fairly the spectacle at the time, together invitations were mailed out inviting human being from anywhere to enjoy the bridge and also partake in the parties that accompanied it. There was also an official song: ‘There’s a silver Moon ~ above the gold Gate,’ which to be created and also sung to commemorate the event.

Fact: Strauss created a poem called ‘The might Task is Done‘ after perfect the bridge. This is the first stanza:

At critical the mighty task is done;Resplendent in the western sunThe leg looms hill high;Its titan piers grip s floor,Its great steel arms attach shore with shore,Its towers pierce the sky.

Featured in countless photographs, films, songs and also the like, the gold Gate leg rivals the state of Liberty as among the most famous symbols in American famous culture. Today, the bridge frequently ferries hundreds of people across the strait and also still shines just as brightly together it did once it originally opened in 1937.

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Fact: Many human being falsely think the leg is re-painted every few years, however in fact, a secure team is constantly emotional up the paint as that helps avoid the high salt content of the wait from eroding the steel materials of the bridge.

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