Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

At the Golden Gate

May 27, 2012|By Susan Brenneman

The Golden Gate Bridge turns 75 today. When it opened to pedestrians on May 27, 1937, 200,000 people crossed it on foot, roller skates or bicycle to mark the occasion. Spanning the gap cost $35 million, 17 workers' lives and a decades-long battle with those who thought that what God had separated (San Francisco and Marin County), no man should bring together, especially not with taxpayer money.

Once it was built, of course, the bridge seemed inevitable, a lure for the immigrant and the native, an international orange rendition of "California Here I Come."

How to celebrate a bridge that has everything — legend, history, beauty, strength? Just give it its due — use it. Swim below it (people do), or at least walk across it. Feel it sway on its cables; marvel at how well it complements the fog and withstands the tides. Read up on builder Joseph Strauss and design engineer Charles Ellis, contemplate the thousands who have made it their last will and testament, and remember the billions of safe crossings since 1937 — about 100,000 vehicles make the trip north or south each day.

Experts give the Golden Gate Bridge another 125 years to carry us forward, charm us and symbolize us. Blow out the candles and make a wish: Here's hoping they're right.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|