Public Interest Technology
The bridge to the future
When the Golden Gate Bridge first opened to the public in 1937, it was heralded as “one of the greatest monuments of all time.” Close to a century later, its distinctive “international orange” pillars have inspired millions of reproductions and innovations—including the Cisco company logo, which proudly depicts the landmark’s towering beams.
But this iconic bridge was almost not built at all.
Experts warned that San Francisco’s heavy fog would make it impossible to build a bridge, let alone see the final product from the shore, putting the project in jeopardy. Solving the dilemma required cooperation: a group of engineers, architects, and designers, each with their own areas of expertise. Only when a consulting architect noticed a few streaks of reddish-orange primer did inspiration strike. He proposed painting the bridge its unique orange color, so that it would gleam visibly even through heavy fog.
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