Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co. Repurposes Discarded Steel from a National Treasure

By Trish Holder

Side table made from recycled steel from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Talk about ingenuity.  Who would have ever thought of creating a line of furniture from hand railing removed from the Golden Gate Bridge? Richard Bulan, owner of the Golden Gate Bridge Company, that’s who.  This side table is the latest from his unique collection and is the Greenspiration Home Pick-of-the-Week.

The story behind Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co. is as inspirational as it is entrepreneurial.  That’s a combination we can hardly resist when it comes to American made decor.  It is what led us to choose this unique glass and steel side table for the Greenspiration Home American Made “Pick-of-the-Week”.

Repurposed History

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. Shortly after that, the Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co. was born.  Bulan has been making tables, nightstands, headboards, etc. from the cast off steel ever since.

As Bulan points out, the Golden Gate Bridge itself is an American product built with American materials and labor.  The furniture company holds true to this tradition by making sure that the components and materials they use to make their furniture are also American.  For example, this side table has three legs made from the original Golden Gate Bridge steel, which was forged and fabricated by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation on the East Coast, shipped through the Panama Canal, and installed on the bridge in the 1930s.  The steel cross members that hold the table together are forged in Utah.  The glass top is from Ohio and cut and polished in California.  Even the small cushions between the glass top and metal are made in the USA.  Everything is welded and assembled in San Francisco.

“We can certainly empathize with other manufacturers that use imports to keep their prices low.  Our cost for glass from an American source is three times more than an Asian import, but we choose to stay with the American spirit of our material. Our pieces embody the emotion and spirit of San Francisco, something no import can copy,” said Bulan.

In addition, this and other pieces from the Golden Gate Bridge collection are all limited edition, which should be enough to keep them out of a landfill!

 

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