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Joseph B. Strauss is considered the hero of the Golden Gate Bridge, but his initial proposal in 1924 of a combination cantilever-suspension bridge was a far cry from the bridge we know today. His was one of a number of design proposals for bridges and towers submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bridge District. 

Similarly, numerous proposals were set forth for other aspects of the bridge such as the approaches, landscaping, and toll plazas. Architectural renderer and artist Chesley Bonestell created numerous works to promote the design and construction of the bridge. 

Architects as diverse as Frank Lloyd Wright and Bernard Maybeck tried their hand at designing bridges to connect San Francisco and Oakland. Both of them were intrigued with the idea of a second span to link the two commercial centers.  Maybeck was taken with the idea of adding cascades and structures to San Francisco's Twin Peaks. Looking out from this perch he includes a second East-West span in his fanciful sketch. Wright's 1949 proposal was in response to the idea to construct a second Bay Bridge that would resemble the first. Wright felt that the superb scenery of the area would be better served by something more scientific, simpler and quieter; something better suited to the times and their needs. The bridge, designed as a single concrete span, would have six lanes of traffic and two pedestrian walks. The center of the bridge would be crowned by a garden for stopping and enjoying the view. 

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Copyright © 1999 UC Berkeley Library
Data owner: R. Brandt
Updated 12/6/99