Golden Gate Furniture Co.

Golden Gate Bridge (1937)

Pedestrian Handrail (1937-1993)

Over the years, the Bridge’s maintenance mostly consisted of constant repainting in order to preserve its overall beauty and the steel’s integrity. However, after 56 years, the severe winds and salt air of the open ocean had begun to deteriorate and compromise portions of the pedestrian handrail. So in 1993, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District replaced a significant amount of the pedestrian handrail, which the Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co. later acquired.

Golden Gate Furniture Co. (1994)

One afternoon in 1994, a San Francisco television station did a news story on the fate of the Golden Gate Bridge steel that was removed during the handrail replacement in 1993. Richard Bulan, who was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area, thought it would be great to have a headboard made from the historical steel. Through perseverance, he managed to track down the name of the contractor and get a section of the approximately 12-foot long, 1000 pound handrail to his home. He then spent over a month cutting and grinding down the section of handrail, until he had not only crafted one headboard, but also three more just like it. When friends began expressing interest in purchasing the headboards, Richard realized the potential market and the Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co. was born.

Where did the Golden Gate Design & Furniture Company (GGDFC) get the Golden Gate Bridge steel?

Handrail Removal

In 1993, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District replaced 6,557 lineal feet of the west side pedestrian hand railing of the Golden Gate Bridge due to severe weathering. The contractors responsible for replacing the hand railing were also responsible for disposing the surplus steel. One option the contractors had was to sell the battered steel as scrap to Korea or another country that had a raw material shortage. There, the historic steel would be melted down and recycled. Another option was to cut the handrail into pieces and sell these as trinkets. However, this was a business that the contractors did not want to become involved in. Therefore, when Richard Bulan (founder of GGDFC) realized the market niche for furniture made from metal taken off the Golden Gate Bridge, he purchased the available pedestrian handrail from the contractor and GGDFC was born.

Where We Work

Our address
1 Rankin Street, Studio 403 San Francisco, CA 94124
Open hours
By Appointment Only