The Golden Gate Bridge In Photos, From 1937 To 2012

May 27th, 2012 marked the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. In celebration, this is a collection featuring one photo from every year the bridge has been open.

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.

1. 1937

A Fresno resident poses with her family on the first day the bridge opened to pedestrians.

2. 1938

President Franklin Roosevelt on the bridge for a ceremony.

5. 1941

View from the Top of the Mark restaurant.

6. 1942

The USS San Francisco returning damaged from the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

7. 1943

A disabled veteran and his son gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach.

8. 1944

A U.S. Navy airship passes over the Golden Gate Bridge.

10. 1946

Navy demolition experts haul a torpedo out of the bay at Baker Beach.

11. 1947

This stunning shot captures a AT-6A aircraft across from the Golden Gate Bridge.

12. 1948

View from under the bridge.

18. 1954

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.

19. 1955

View from on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

21. 1957

Members of the San Francisco Ballet underneath the bridge.

25. 1961

A bridge painter at work.

29. 1965

The Golden Gate Bridge from a whaling vessel, 7 years before its ban.

33. 1969

Uncensored original version at the source.

34. 1970

On top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

36. 1972

Richard Nixon at the bridge.

40. 1976

Snow in the headlands north of Golden Gate Bridge.

43. 1979

1979 album cover for the experimental music group The Residents.

44. 1980

During a traffic jam.

47. 1983

The nuclear-powered U.S.S. Enterprise passes under the Golden Gate Bridge.

51. 1987

At the Golden Gate Bridge’s 50th anniversary celebration.

59. 1995

The view from Coit Tower.

67. 2003

The Blue Angels performing in San Francisco.

76. 2012

From the 75th 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.

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