January 19th of this year will mark the 70th birthday of the now-departed legendary singer, Janis Joplin. May 27th of this year will mark the 76th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. How are these two events related?
The last echoes of the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge have faded away. A talented army of volunteers, supporters and Corporate Partners came together to make a memorable event unforgettable.
25 years ago a similar mission was underway to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. A major part of that celebration was the construction of a commemorative brick walkway financed by the sales of precision inscribed paving bricks.
Unfortunately, this walkway was removed on January 18, 2012. Construction of a new Bridge Pavilion building required that current Building Codes be met and the Conservancy, with the approval of the GGB, decided to remove the 50th Anniversary Brick Walkway.
Assurances were made to the people who purchased bricks that although the bricks could not be saved, the Bridge would implement “…several alternative measures to preserve the 50th anniversary bricks by other means”.
“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.” —Richard Feynman
Q: What is the difference between “Permanence” and “Lasting Recognition”?
A: 25 years.
In 1987, as part of a program to upgrade the visitor’s area at the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge District raised money by selling “precision inscribed paving bricks carrying the names of people from all over the world”. Purchased from the Golden Gate Bridge Gardens, Inc., by March 1988 a total of 7,416 bricks were installed in a new garden setting on the East side of the Toll Plaza. Continue reading
The Golden Gate Bridge 50th Anniversary Commemorative Brick walkway is now just a memory to us. I wonder what reaction future generations will have to this chapter of Bridge History.
The decision to remove the bricks has been a rather divisive one, judging from the responses I have received from the public at large. Bridge Officials say that removal of the brick pathway was necessary to meet Federal ADA requirements and opponents say those requirements could have been met and without removing the walkway. Now, more than ever, we need to put aside our differences and move on.
I have a plan…. Continue reading