Prior to the bridge being built, it wasn't easy to get across the bay. There was a boat and a ferry, which began service in 1820, but they definitely needed something better. In 1867, the Sausalito Land and Ferry Company was launched, and it took less than a half hour to cross. By 1916, proposals for the bridge were submitted. Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge began on January 5,1933 and cost $35 million to build. However, it was completed ahead of the projected schedule and under budget by $1.3 million. Pretty impressive for such a huge undertaking.
When it opened, it was the longest, at 4,200 feet, as well as the tallest, at 746 feet, suspension bridge in the world. The Golden Gate, after which it's named, is technically the one-mile-wide strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of the city, and it has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommer's travel guide describes the Golden Gate Bridge as "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world."