What Color Is the Golden Gate Bridge?


Quick Answer

The color of the Golden Gate Bridge is officially International Orange. The original bridge design called for another color, but the steel manufacturers painted the materials using an orange primer to protect it from the elements. Irving Morrow, the consulting architect, found he preferred the contrast the orange provided to the bridge's surroundings instead of black or steel gray. Painters only touched up the original paint until 1965 when they began removing and replacing the lead based paint, a process that took over 30 years.

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What Color Is the Golden Gate Bridge?
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Full Answer

The Golden Gate Bridge received its name from the passage it spans, the Golden Gate Strait, the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. John C. Fremont gave this name to the three-mile strait because it reminded him of the Golden Horn, a harbor in Istanbul. The name has nothing to do with the orange color of the bridge.

Manufacturers in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey manufactured the steel for the bridge. They shipped it by rail to Philadelphia, where it was loaded onto ships. The ships transported the steel through the Panama Canal to San Francisco for construction of the bridge.

While the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its construction, New York City's Verrazano Narrows Bridge, which opened in 1964, is 60 feet longer than the Golden Gate. Since the opening of the New York bridge, several others have exceeded it in length.

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