- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
As I was driving to work this morning I listened to part of a discussion on California's infrastructure. One of the subjects the interviewer and guests mentioned frequently was the Golden Gate Bridge. San José Public Library has many materials in many different formats that discuss this national landmark. If you would like to see some of our holdings showcasing the Golden Gate Bridge check us out.
Kevin Starr is particularly well suited to write Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge, having written 8 books on California History; he also grew up in San Francisco. Starr describes his approach to the subject as poetic, saying he wanted it to be evocative. He succeeded in that. He conveys a great deal of information about the lead up and the construction of the bridge, as well as portraying the key figures involved, but beyond that, he becomes lyrical describing the impressive achievement and the beauty of the bridge. The bridge seems so inevitable to us that it is surprising to read of the amount of opposition the project was up against. The existing ferry service carried 50,00 passengers a day. The Navy worried about a collapsed bridge blocking the channel. The Air Force wanted it painted with stripes! However, the need was there. On some Sunday afternoons in the summer, the wait to get a ferry ride across the Bay from Marin back to San Francisco was 3 hours. We are reminded that the bridge's construction took place during the Depression, when Starr states that 100-150 men hung out at the work site on the chance that there would be an opening due to illness or injury. He describes many factors including mathematics, design, and art coming together to produce an effective even triumphant result.
by Marilyn Stoddard, Pool Librarian