Exhibit Area 1
(Plaza area)
Welcome Sign [main directory]
How the Bridge Spans the Golden Gate
Bridge Aesthetics - Art Deco on a Grand Scale
Tall and Strong - The Bridge Towers
Steel, Fog, Salt, Rust, and Paint

Exhibit Area 2
(near flagpole)
How the Bridge Vibrates

Exhibit Area 3
(West side of Bridge near underpass)
Historic Preservation: Lattice Strut Retrofit
Historic Preservation: Isolator Seismic Retrofit

Exhibit Area 4
(inside Battery area)
History: Design and Construction of the Bridge
Suspension Cable Tension vs. Tower Height
Battery Lancaster - Defending the Golden Gate

Exhibit Area 5
(along bike path to lower parking lot)
Bridge Deck Aerodynamics
Bridge Deck Torsional Resistance Retrofit
Wind Speed and Wind Pressure

Exhibit Area 6
(near Pavillion)
LIFETILES: animated construction of the Bridge
Braille / Tactile Model of the Bridge

Project Partners

Golden Gate Bridge,
Highway and Transporation District


Consortium of Universities for Research
in Earthquake Engineering

Main Menu : Exhibit Area 1

Tall and Strong - The Bridge Towers

The Golden Gate Bridge not only set the record for longest bridge span when completed in 1937, it also had the tallest towers.


This innovation introduced by the Golden Gate Bridge provided the strength to withstand the tremendous weight transferred to the tops of the towers by the cables, and also to resist horizontal loads due to wind and earthquakes.


Each tower has over a million rivets. A red-hot rivet with a round head on one end was inserted through holes to join pieces of steel. Then while the round-headed end was held securely, a riveter with a power tool hammered (“bucked”) the plain end into another mushroom-shaped head, clamping the pieces together.


More Images

Workers inside box-like steel cells.

source: California Historical Society, Huggins Coll., CHS.Huggins.001

Close-up of actual rivet.

All images property of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (unless otherwise indicated).

For more information -

Bridge Design and Construction Statistics

What are the original rivets replaced with when they become corroded?

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Last updated: 11.08.12