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California Historical Landmarks in San Francisco
Landmark 974
Golden Gate Bridge
California Highway 1
California Landmark 974: Golden Gate Bridge
7 February 2004
(Click Photo to Zoom)
Construction of the bridge started in 1933. Engineer Joseph Strauss and architect Irving Morrow created an extraordinarily beautiful bridge in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. The designs for the Golden Gate Bridge showed the greatest attention to artistic detail, especially on the two streamlined moderne towers. The bridge's 4,200 feet of clear span (from tower to tower) was the longest in the world until 1959. On April 19, 1937, the bridge was completed and the official dedication took place on May 27.

Citation from California Office of Historic Preservation

The name Golden Gate preceded the building of the bridge by almost a century. It even preceded the Gold Rush by two years. Was ever a place so prophetically named?

In 1846, US Army Captain John C. Frémont, together with a contingent of his men, rowed from Sausalito to Castillo De San Joaquín, a course which took them across the strait connecting the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific. Captain Frémont named the strait Chrysopylae1 "on the same principle that the harbor of Byzantium was called Chrysoceras2."

Just imagine. There was a time not too long ago when a captain in the United States Army was intellectually equipped to coin names in classical Greek.

1. Golden Gate
2. Golden Horn

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Map of California Historical Landmarks in San Francisco