Published May 27, 2018 at 10:44 AM | Updated at 3:15 PM PDT on May 27, 2018
Happiest of birthdays to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Eighty-one years ago Sunday, the iconic bridge linking the city of San Francisco and Marin County opened up to pedestrians. One day later, cars cruised along the bridge's fresh pavement for the first time.
Construction of the 1.7-mile long bridge took just under four years and five months to complete, according to the bridge's website. At the time of its opening, the bridge's 4,200-foot suspension span was the longest in the world, holding that title until New York City's Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened for service in 1964.
While the universally recognizable bridge is famously dubbed the "Golden Gate," it obviously isn't gold in color. It's always wowed onlookers and boaters entering the San Francisco Bay with its orange vermilion or "International Orange" color.
"Consulting Architect Irving Morrow selected the distinctive orange color because it blends well with the span's natural setting as it is a warm color consistent with the warm colors of the land masses in the setting as distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea," according to a statement from the bridge's website. "It also provides enhanced visibility for passing ships."
In fact, the name "Golden Gate" doesn't actually have anything to do with color. It refers to the Golden Gate Strait that the bridge passes over.