Celebrating the Opening of the Golden Gate Bridge

This year, the most iconic and recognizable bridge in the world celebrates the 79th anniversary of its opening on May 27, 1937. Among the huge collection of scanned glass plates, negatives, stereoscopes, and color slides that we’ve been scanning over the past year, we’ve selected a gallery of rare Golden Gate Bridge-related images that you’ve probably never seen before.

Before the Bridge, there was no need to cut through the Presidio. There was no Veterans Boulevard, no MacArthur Tunnel, no Park Presidio Boulevard, and no Doyle Drive. The familiar route that we all drive to get to the Bridge today was possible, in large part, to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) under President Rosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s.

OpenSFHistory’s latest gallery starts the journey by showing how the Golden Gate looked before there was a bridge. The galley progresses chronologically from there, and geographically, moving South to North, showing segments of the route to the bridge during construction. The gallery finishes with images from the Golden Gate Bridge Fiesta, a week long celebration for the opening of the Bridge.

Be sure to catch the Outside Lands San Francisco podcast on the roadway construction and Bridge opening here.