clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Golden Gate Bridge Will Finally Admit Who Actually Designed It

New, 3 comments

The Golden Gate Bridge officially turns 75 years old this Sunday, but this will also mark the day that the bridge management will officially acknowledge that Charles Ellis was the man who was actually responsible for designing it.

Back in the 1920s, Joseph Strauss, the chief engineer on the project, hired Ellis to do all the design work (because he had no experience with suspension bridge design of his own). And so Ellis did and, by all accounts, did quite well, creating one of the most iconic structures of the twentieth century.

But, in an episode that has never been fully explained, Strauss fired Ellis after all the design and engineering work was done and had his name removed from all bridge and historical promotional material and then Strauss took all the credit for himself. And for years, bridge management has rebuffed efforts to give Ellis the credit owed him.

But all that will change on Sunday when a shiny new brass plaque honoring Ellis will be officially unveiled. Hopefully this will also mean Ellis' grandchildren can now get that employee discount in the gift shop.

· As Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75, History Revised to Honor Engineer [PBS NewsHour]