I wanted to take a moment and pay tribute to one of the most recognized icon in my adopted city today. The City by the Bay will be celebrating its famous icon’s birthday this week end: the Golden Gate Bridge. To me, one of the most romantics stroll you can take after the sun sets and the city lights come out.
Why is it named Golden Gate if it’s not painted in gold colors? Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It is generally accepted 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.
This famous bridge took just over four years to build. Construction commenced on January 5, 1933. Pedestrian Day was held on May 27, 1937 and opened to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937. On opening day, the San Francisco Chronicle referred to the Golden Gate Bridge as “thirty-five million dollar steel harp”!
The color of the Golden Gate Bridge is orange vermilion, deemed International Orange. Irving Morrow, the consulting architect at the time choose this particular warm color because it blends well with the span’s natural setting and it is distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea, besides providing enhanced visibility for the passing ships. If the U.S. Navy had its way, the Bridge would be painted in black and yellow stripes to assure greater visibility for the passing ships.
The bridge is constantly painted (read touched up) to protect it from the high salt content in the air which rusts and corrodes the steel components.
Now, come on over and celebrate! Bring your sweety and take a romantic stroll on the bridge. On Sunday at 9:30pm to 9:50pm, she’ll be putting her best colors on display for you. It’s going to be explosive …. literally!