Celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th Birthday!


If you had 21,500 tons of steel, what would you do with it? In 1933 chief engineer Joseph Baermann Strauss and his team began constructing a bridge that required this much steel for each of its towers (which supports a staggering 61,500-ton load). Completed in 1937, that engineering marvel—the Golden Gate Bridge—marks its 75th anniversary this year.

The main celebration takes place this weekend all along the waterfront from Fort Point down to Ghirardelli Square. Entertain yourself with dancing, music, and fireworks, but don’t miss the exhibits: art inspired by the Golden Gate, vintage cars from 1937 on forward, and sustainable tech for the future.

Can’t make it this weekend? Not to worry: the 75th anniversary celebration continues into autumn with a number of tributes, exhibits, and activities.

Next Thursday, May 31, the California Historical Society will convene panelists Gray Brechin, Catherine Powell, and Dick Walker for a discussion “Spanning Space and Time” to explore some lesser known aspects of the bridge’s history. John King, urban design critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, will moderate.

Photo by David Huting, EpicWallArt

Art plays a central part in interpreting and exploring San Francisco’s treasured monument. SFMOMA’s “The Golden Span,” the historical society’s “A Wild Flight of Imagination,” and George Krevsky Gallery’s “Artistic Visions” offer a mere taste of this year’s art exhibits that bridge past and present. As far away as the Smithsonian, “1934: A New Deal for Artists” reveals how this feat of architecture first inspired artists.

Fitness-minded revelers can feel the rush while racing across the Golden Gate as part of San Francisco’s full or half marathon on July 29 or take a dip in the bay’s chilly waters by swimming under the bridge then running over it at the Splash & Dash on July 14.

So this weekend, party like it’s 1937. Join the revelry and celebrate a modern Wonder of the World.

Golden Gate Festival, Sunday, May 27; 75th anniversary events, throughout 2012; goldengatebridge75.org/celebrate.

Photo by David Huting, EpicWallArt

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