Built to provide a practical route between Marin County and San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge cost $35 million dollars to build and took over four years, with construction beginning in 1933, and the planning for it going back long before that. Since opening, the bridge has become one of the most iconic symbols of San Francisco, and stood as the world’s longest suspension bridge until 1964, when the Verrazano-Narrows bridge was completed in New York City. Contrary to popular belief, the bridge is not painted end-to-end each year, and only requires touch-up work. This, however, does require ongoing maintenance, and is currently staffed by 28 painters, as well as iron workers and other crew members that are essential to this task.
Over the years, the bridge itself hasn’t changed much, but the world around it certainly has. Nonetheless, the bridge continues to be a symbol of pride and beauty for San Francisco and visitors alike.
A Fresno resident poses with her family on the first day the bridge opened to pedestrians.
The USS San Francisco returning damaged from the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
A disabled veteran and his son gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach.
A U.S. Navy airship passes over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Navy demolition experts haul a torpedo out of the bay at Baker Beach.
This stunning shot captures a AT-6A aircraft across from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fitness legend Jack LaLanne emerges from the ocean after setting a record for swimming the length of the Golden Gate Bridge while towing 140 pounds of equipment.
Members of the San Francisco Ballet underneath the bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge from a whaling vessel, 7 years before its ban.
1979 album cover for the experimental music group The Residents.
The nuclear-powered U.S.S. Enterprise passes under the Golden Gate Bridge.
At the Golden Gate Bridge’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Bonus Round 1:
The Golden Gate before the Bridge, by Ansel Adams.
Bonus Round 2:
The ‘Penguin Chorus’ on the bridge from opening festivities in 1937.
Bonus Round 3:
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in 1946
Bridge, you are magnificent.