After a tumultuous month of victories and defeats for preservationists, KQED's Michael Krasny moderates a discussion "addressing property rights, preservation, and the impact of architecture on our communities."
Soaring atop the Golden Gate Bridge—
the dreamiest roller coaster thrills ever!
With summer around the corner, take a moment to daydream—first about a family outing to Santa Cruz beach, where a boardwalk filled with thrill rides awaits.
Then drift back to the Roaring ‘Twenties, when folks rolled as well as roared—often at the same time.
The 1920s were ‘the golden age of the roller coaster,’ with nearly 2,000 constructed in the United States alone. The Depression put an end to that boom—but not to roller coaster dreamers.
Such a one was Joseph Bazzeghin, an architect from Connecticut. In 1938, as preparations were underway for the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, Bazzeghin presented a plan for a pair of roller coasters, not of the standard wood but of steel.
The plan made use of two recently built, strikingly prominent pre-existing steel structures—the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bolt, as Bazzeghin dubbed the coaster on the Golden Gate Bridge, would have sent thrill-seekers on the most exciting ride of their lives—and probably their last.
Seated four abreast in open cars—but with windshields, praise heavens—riders would have plummeted down the suspension cable from the south span, hitting speeds of 200 miles per hour or more, right on up to the north tower, before making landfall in Marin County.