“…and you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”
— The Eve of Destruction, 1965
written by P.F. Sloan, performed by Barry McGuire
Proposed Beach Street approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, Illustration by Chesley Bonestell, Source: Derleth Collection, Water Resources Center Archives.
It is official, Doyle Drive is coming down at the end of this month. From the beginning, Doyle Drive was a tough sell. The original path of the highway would have connected the Bridge traffic to Beach Street and that did not sit well with the residents of the Marina district, who feared traffic jams.
In 1932 protests from residents forced the City and County of San Francisco to pressure the Golden Gate Bridge & Highway District to instead connect Doyle Drive with Lombard Street/Highway 101. Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss at first resisted the City’s demand, but soon began promoting a plan to connect Doyle Drive both to Lombard Street and to Beach Street. Construction of the Low Viaduct began in 1934, the controversy over Doyle Drive’s street connections in the Marina District lasted for several years.
Cross Section of a Riveted Plate used in steel construction. Copyright: Allan G. Smorra
The California Historical Society’s current exhibition is: A Wild Flight of the Imagination — The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge and it runs until October 14, 2012. You will find many fascinating drawings, paintings, tools and photographs of the bridge and the surrounding landscape before, during and after construction.
Illustrations and drawings from two of my favorite people, Chesley Bonestell and Irving Morrow, are on display, including some paintings from Mr. Bonestell that have been stored away out of sight until now. Works from Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Maynard Dixon and John Eberson are also among those on display.
Chesley Bonestell was born in San Francisco on January 1, 1888. That’s right, today is his 124th birthday! Known as the Father of Modern Space Art, Bonestell’s photo-realistic images of distant worlds and spacecraft have fueled the imaginations of millions of people in the last 70 years. What is not generally known is that he prepared illustrations of the chief engineer’s plans for the Golden Gate Bridge which were used in fundraising. Continue reading