Furniture Find: Own a Part of the Golden Gate Bridge

As a San Francisco native, I was intrigued when I stumbled upon the Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Company. This company sells artisan furniture pieces crafted from real parts of the iconic bridge. If you left your heart in San Francisco, here’s a way you may have a piece of The City, as it is affectionately referred to by natives and natives, no matter where you reside now. I had to know more, so I contacted the creator, Richard Bulan.

Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co..


DS: How didyou start GGBFC?

RB: In 1994, I had been watching anews story on a local SF television station about the destiny of the Golden Gate Bridge steel that was eliminated throughout the handrail replacement in 1993. I thought that the historic steel would make a fantastic headboard for my bed, so I got the builder’s name in the TV station and made arrangements for a part of the 12-foot long, 1,000-pound handrail. After making my first headboard, many friends expressed interest in buying one. I understood then that there was a possible market out there, and GGBFC was born.

The headboard is made completely of repurposed pedestrian handrail steel.

Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co..

Accent Table

DS: What is the inspiration for your furniture layouts?

RB : I try to stay true to the spirit of this pedestrian handrail and layout the piece to be instantly recognizable as being assembled from Golden Gate Bridge metal.

A number of the bits contain new materials such as steel and glass support members (such as the triangular section at the middle of this side table).

Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co..

Desk Lamp – Front

The steel was weathered by the wind and salt atmosphere, so no two products are alike. Each limited edition piece is numbered and has a certificate of authenticity. Only 92 of those desk lamps were created, and all have sold out.

Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co..

Side Table

This is a prototype of a beautiful fresh side table Rick is operating on.

Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co..

Side Table – Flipped

The foundation was designed to be flipped for a different look.

Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co..

Coffee Table

DS: Tell me about the paint you use on your creations.

RB: The welding procedure burns off the paint, so we clean up the piece and repaint it with the identical paint that is used for the bridge. It’s called International Orange, and it had been specifically mixed to blend nicely with the colours of the Marin Headlands. I purchase it in Precisely the Same vendor the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District uses.

Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co..

DS: Who is the customer?

RB: Anyone with an emotional tie to San Francisco or the Golden Gate Bridge. Most live out of San Francisco; half are at L.A. and, surprisingly, most are in Europe.

ds design studio

Bulan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. Although he could cut costs by buying supplemental materials overseas, he works to obtain them from U.S. sources. He’s committed to maintaining the quality and spirit of his product.

When asked what he can do when he runs out of substance, he famously replies, “I figure we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

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