Yearlong celebration will honor Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary
December 2011

A new 3,500 sq. ft. Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion is being built at the south end visitor plaza

In preparing for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge next year, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and the Presidio Trust, are moving forward with a program of improvements to enhance the visitor experience at the iconic span. The yearlong anniversary celebration also features 75 community tributes and a grand public festival along the waterfront at Crissy Field on May 27, 2012.
The Golden Gate Bridge on Opening Day, 1937. Photo: ImageShack

As a lasting legacy to the bridge and the national parklands that anchor it, the Parks Conservancy and NPS are working to expand opportunities for visitors to discover the rich history and innovation behind one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels. Visitor improvements include construction of a new 3,500-square-foot Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion to serve as a welcome and interpretive center; renovation of the historic Round House into a visitor staging and education center; upgrades to the classic Art Deco Bridge Café; and enhancements to the bridge plaza and the surrounding parklands within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

New planned public programs feature guided tours of the bridge, including the first-ever night tours; and a high-tech “green screen” photo concession that will provide a picture-perfect backdrop of the bridge even on the foggiest of San Francisco days. The new pavilion will house an expanded Golden Gate Bridge Shop highlighting more than 120 new interpretive items; and a menu featuring locally grown and produced food for visitors in the renovated Bridge Café. Other visitor enhancements are underway along the popular Coastal Trail and Bay Trail, including new way-finding and interpretive signage and improved public access; and two all-new scenic overlooks will provide new vantage points from which to view the bridge and surrounding area.

A key foundation of the anniversary year is the “75 Tributes to the Bridge” being presented by a diverse range of community partners. Responding to a call issued by the Parks Conservancy this summer for nonprofit, community-based organizations and public agencies to join in honoring the bridge, the resulting set of tributes represents a wide array of Bay Area civic, cultural, and educational organizations. Beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, programs include exhibits, lectures, performances, films, contests, tours, and a variety of other activities.

Last but not least, a spectacular public celebration will be held on Crissy Field over the Memorial Day weekend, May 26–27, 2012. Currently under development, the event will recall the historic “Golden Gate Bridge Fiesta” when the bridge opened on May 27, 1937. A number of surprise special guests and performances will join in commemorating the bridge’s official 75th birthday. The complete schedule of 75th anniversary programs and events, as well as updated progress reports and visuals on the construction and visitor improvements, is available at