The Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public in 1937 and quickly became among the famous top bridges around the globe. We’re quite in love with San Francisco and love sharing our city with tourists from all over the globe. We’ve compiled twelve of our most interesting facts about The Golden Gate Bridge!
Beginning with the name of it, through its tragic historical background, its colors to record-breaking records, and everything between, this intriguing trip into the past is a must to read before seeing it yourself.
Get ready to visit this famous San Francisco site with twelve Golden Gate Bridge fun facts that might delight you. After reading this, make sure you reserve for your Golden Gate GoCar Tour to enjoy this amazing Bay Area like never before!
Facts About The Golden Gate Bridge
1. The Golden Gate Bridge Was Completed Ahead of Schedule
This is an extremely shocking Golden Gate Bridge fact. Although construction began during the Great Depression, it was completed on time and ahead of schedule! Construction began in January 1933 and ended in 1937, closing the huge project in just four years.
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2. The Golden Gate Bridge Replaced a Thriving Ferry Service
Here’s an Golden Gate Bridge fun fact to remind you that before the bridge was built in 1890, people from San Francisco had to travel to Marin County by boat! The ferry service was established in the 1820s and was used to transport cars, passengers, and many other things for over 100 years until the Golden Gate Bridge was built.
3. The Golden Gate Bridge Gets Its Name From a Not-So-Surprising Origin
The bridge’s name is derived from the Golden Gate Strait, the entry point to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. What is the reason why the strait came to be named this way? In 1846, an American topographer remarked the strait was reminiscent of the Byzantium harbor called “Golden Horn,” Hence, the name was given.
4. The Golden Gate Bridge Has a Deadly History
Although it’s not the jolliest on the list, if you’re looking for Golden Gate Bridge fun facts, It’s one that everyone who visits the bridge should be aware of.
As the bridge was constructed around 1930, security regulations weren’t as rigorous as today. The bridge was constructed to ensure the safety of the workers. However, not every accident could be avoided.
The safety net hung beneath the bridge to protect those who fell. Although it saved 19 people, 11 fell and tragically lost their lives.
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5. The Golden Gate Bridge Broke Records
The time it was constructed when it was constructed; when it first opened, Golden Gate Bridge spanned 4,200 feet. It staked its claim to being the most long-lasting suspension bridge in existence. This is among the fascinating things regarding this Golden Gate Bridge because it held the world record for the longest time. It was over 25 years!
The bridge was built in 1964 and was finally overtaken by the Verrazzano Bridge in New York City. The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, located in Japan, has been awarded the title of the world’s most famous bridge.
6. The Famous Orange That Almost Wasn’t
Ask any person which color it is that the Golden Gate Bridge is, and the majority will give them the correct answer. It’s not gold, but rather it’s a beautiful deep orange.
We dug into our sources in the form of Golden Gate Bridge fun facts to learn that the original plan was to paint the bridge yellow and black! The Navy suggested this color scheme to make the bridge seen by ships that pass by, particularly in the famous fog of San Francisco.
The good news is that the designer Irving Morrow selected “international orange” instead since it is more in line with the surrounding area of the bridge but still offers outstanding visibility.
7. Experts Thought It Couldn’t Be Done.
In the 30s, San Francisco was the largest American city still mostly served by ferry services and experienced a decline in its growth due to the lack of connectivity to other parts of California. San Francisco was in dire need of solutions.
In the years before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, one of the largest suspension bridges in existence measured just 3,501 feet. That’s 699 feet shorter than the project that was proposed. The combination of high winds and the deep waters within San Francisco Bay made the bridge an unwise choice. Still, the visionaries Michael M. O’Shaughnessy and Joseph B. Strauss persevered with their ideas and proved successful at the final.
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8. Construction Cost How Much?!
When construction of the bridge was completed, it accumulated an estimated amount of $33 million. If inflation is adjusted, these numbers rise to above 607 million dollars today. That’s a huge bridge!
9. Only 2 Men Were Important Enough to Shut Down It Down
One of our most cherished Golden Gate Bridge fun facts is when it wasn’t being used. Even though it’s been closed to repair and weather-related issues, just two people in the history of the bridge have been significant enough to warrant having the entire bridge closed for them.
Do you know the names of these people?
The first one was the president Franklin D. Roosevelt (better known informally as FDR), while the other was named after French the French president Charles de Gaulle.
Oh, two deer with black tails also closed the bridge on July 14, 2014, after they decided to cross the bridge during the bustling evening commute!
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10. Opening Day Was Quite the Spectacle
FDR was president in 1937 when the Golden Gate Bridge was completed, and he was given the honor of announcing the bridge’s opening. While he couldn’t go all the way to San Francisco, opening day was still quite a spectacle.
When FDR used the telegraph button within his desk, “every fire siren in San Francisco and Marin was sounded, every church bell rang, ships sounded their whistles, and every fog horn blew.”
11. Over 1 Billion People Have Used the Golden Gate Bridge…
The billionth user was the first to cross the bridge in 1985! Many people who visit San Francisco are surprised by these Golden Gate Bridge facts. However, the bridge has been around many times used during its life.
On February 15, 1985, the one-millionth vehicle was measured, and the driver was presented with a hard hat and a bottle of champagne to mark the occasion. Today, that record is buried in dust, and the bridge claims the number of vehicles that pass through the bridge every day.
On May 24, 1987, the estimated crowd of 80,000 increased to 800,000 as the “Friends of the Golden Gate Bridge” were able to hold an anniversary celebration to mark the Golden Gate Bridge’s opening. Around 300,000 people walked across the bridge the day of the event in a shoulder-to-shoulder fashion.
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12. It’s the 9th “Most Instagrammed” Attraction in the US.
The final item (but not the last) in our Golden Gate Bridge fun facts collection is a Globehunters investigation. The travel company found it was the case that Golden Gate Bridge was tagged in over 2 million images on Instagram, which makes it the 9th most-liked US attraction on the platform. Another famous California attraction, Disneyland, came first place with more than 8 million posts tagged.