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The Golden Gate Bridge

"Bridge to Success"


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Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge


Introduction:

The Golden Gate Bridge, still today, is recognized internationally for its size, beauty, and engineering genius. At the time of its construction, in 1937, most people did not believe the construction of such a structure was possible, mostly because it had never been done before. Following its completion on April 19, 1937, "The Golden Gate Bridge already enjoyed worldwide fame, not only because the bridge was breaking records, but also thanks to the elegant are decor design of the two towers and the magnificent surroundings near the Pacific Ocean" (Golden 1). Still today, "about 40 million cars a year cross the bridge," and it continues to impress every single one (Miller 32).


Background Information:

The Golden Gate Bridge is a unique and beautiful bridge that is a world landmark in everyday society. The Golden Gate Bridge "connects northern California to the peninsula of San Francisco" (Videon 255). It was built between 1933 and 1937; this modern design was well ahead of its time and brought a new standard of architecture to the nation. When "Emperor [[#|Norton]] proposed the oddball idea of building a bridge across the Golden Gate", the idea was laughed upon (Barter 35). Everyone thought the idea was too expensive and some even thought it was impossible. They were all proven wrong when the "8,981 foot long" bridge was built (Videon 255). Building a bridge that large does seem impossible to some, but it was just a mere challenge to those who helped create it. "Irving F. Morrow designed the towers" that stood on either side of the bridge as well as selected the distinctive rust color (Videon 255). The color was not the only unique aspect that the bridge upheld. The bridge also consisted of "two steel cables from which the bridge hangs"; this was never seen before (Videon 255). This construction was very unique in many ways. The bridge was also designed to sway 27 feet from side to side and was "constructed to withstand strong tidal forces, wind, and earthquakes" (Videon 255). Those who thought the bridge was impossible to build were proven wrong. Not only was the bridge built, but it was also built with qualities unimaginable. As for those who thought it was too expensive, the bridge did cost "$35.5 million" which is an insane amount, but it was not too expensive to the point of impossible (Videon 255). In conclusion, the Golden Gate Bridge is an incredible bridge that changed the perspective of society.


Here is a radio interview with the Spokesperson for the Golden Gate Bridge District.


Connection to Personal:

The Golden Gate Bridge when spoken about brings wonders to the imagination, but when experienced up close, has a grand majesty that can only be felt through a deep silence. Though it was a few years ago, when I first visited the Golden Gate Bridge, I was hooked. It's international orange color brought immediate attention to my eye, and the fog that poured in and out of the gate, dissolving the massive bridge into a compelling white mist gave me goosebumps. And when you truly stared at it for a few moments, you see that the bridge had a face upturned towards the sun, rich in promise, and vibrant with eternal youth, prompting you to truly question this infamous bridge and it's true connotations. After nearly two hundred pictures and an hour long walk later, I kept begged to walk over it again, because when you walked over it's steel sidewalk, you would look over the railing and find the ocean beneath you, giving you a faint feeling that you were flying. And when you looked around at the people around you and the cars that whizzed passed, you would feel oddly connected to the bridge, exuding a feeling of importance and grandeur. Known as the most spectacular bridge in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge continues to leave marks in all who cross it's path and those who wish to glorify the said to be true feeling.



Connection to the World:

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The Golden Gate Bridge was constructed during the Great Depression; a time of poverty and hardship for our nation. At the time, the majority of people were without a job and struggling to survive. Thanks to it's gargantuan size, "it would take thousands of workers, four years and thousands of dollars to complete the bridge" (Golden paragraph 3-4). The Golden Gate Bridge was not significant to it's time simply because it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, but because it was a major contributor to saving many people from loosing everything they owned. Working on the bridge was hard and demanding, but it was work, and it paid. This simple fact made it even more important to America during the Great Depression.


Connection to Health and Social:

The Golden Gate Bridge was an evolution that pushed the society to a more modern prospect that would eventually become an international landmark that people continue marvel over. Though at first the Bridge was rejected by most of the nation's residents, the city of San Francisco would come to realize that without the bridge, the city would seem incomplete. Building the Golden Gate Bridge gave the Great Depression jobs that many people needed and provided a new, modern way of transportation by constructing a a pathway that connects both sides of the country. The bridge came with a "new mindset, providing modern medicines, more jobs in a state of poverty, and money through the tolls that collect money from the millions of cars that cross it every year" (McGraw). Even now, vehicles continue to rush over the bridge into the city and tourists proceed to walk along the railings admiring the view. Here the American values of hope, possibility, and success are represented by the ocean extending beyond the bridge itself. As iconic as the Bridge is, it's even more memorable through the pathways it has provided to other civilizations, and eventually to the uprising it provided for us through the Great Depression. Though thought to be a "waste of time, energy, and money", the Golden Gate Bridge now symbolizes western opportunities and pacific possibilities (McGraw ).



IB Learner Trait Connection:

The Golden Gate Bridge represents the IB learner trait of open-minded because in order to come up with an idea like this, you must be open-minded. The bridge was not a very modern design in the 1930s; it was actually ahead of its time. Therefore, in order to deign a bridge with such uniqueness, you must be open-minded to all possibilities and perspectives society might have. No one was really sure how the nation would react to such a different design; they were open to suggestions from the design crew and from society in order to prevent as much negative feedback as possible. As time and construction progressed, everyone realized that they not only had to be open-minded towards their society's suggestions, but also a future society's changes. If a society in the future wants to add something onto the bridge everyone has to be very open-minded towards change. In conclusion, the Golden Gate Bridge represents the IB learner trait of open-minded in many different ways through the process of making the Bridge.
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This is an example of a change made overtime; lights have been added to the bridge.

Interesting Facts:


• The weight of the bridge when it was built was about 894,500 tons, but today the bridge only weighs about 887,000 tons. The weight reduction is due to new decking material.
• Only eleven workers died during the construction of the bridge; 35 men were expected to die.
• A net was placed underneath of the floor which saved about 19 men.
• The Bridge was closed on its 50th birthday.
• On average, about 40 million vehicles cross over the bridge every year.
• May 27, 1937 was the opening day of the bridge.
• The fog around the bridge is called "advection fog"
In 1965, the original paint was taken off due to corrosion and was replaced with zinc silicate primer and an acrylic emulsion top coat; this project took 30 years. Now the bridge's paint is touched up regularly.




This is a video that explains the worker safety throughout the making of the bridge.

This helps give you an idea of how the bridge was actually built.

Work Cited:

Barter, James. A Travel Guide to San Francisco in the 1960s. San Diego: Lucent Books, 2004. Print.
• "Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twljQ06jQwU>.
• "Golden Gate Bridge Interview - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOIXUE4chmA>.
• "Interesting Facts About Golden Gate Bridge - Fun Facts About Golden Gate Bridge." Lifestyle Lounge - Online Lifestyle Magazine - Lifestyle Management Tips. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-golden-gate-bridge-3433.html>.
• Videon, Fred. “Golden Gate Bridge”. The World Book Millennium 2000 Encyclopedia. Print.
• "Worker Safety During Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLRCZAXfEa4>.
McGraw, Marcus. "The Golden Gate Bridge | Infoplease.com." Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free online reference, research & homework help. | Infoplease.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <http://www.infoplease.com/spot/goldengate