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Collection Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

California to Delaware

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California.

Detail of [General view, looking north, showing the "sea side" of the structure. Photograph by Jet Lowe, 1984.]
(Reproduction Number: HAER, CAL,38-SANFRA,140-4)

An international icon of American engineering genius, the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 and remains one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. The main span of 4,200 feet crosses the turbulent waters at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Chief engineer Joseph B. Strauss started the construction project in 1933.

Ritter Ranch barn, Dolores vicinity, Colorado.

Interior, second floor, west side. Photograph by Jet Lowe, September 1981.
(Reproduction Number: HABS, COLO, 42-DOL.V, 4A-10)

This wooden dairy barn, built in 1918, is the largest outbuilding on the Ritter Ranch, once the most technologically advanced ranch in the Lower Dolores Valley of Colorado. Divided crosswise by a central breezeway on the first floor and lengthwise by two rows of wooden poles supporting the roof, the barn has an airy and peaceful hayloft shown here that contrasts sharply with the complicated machinery of the work area below. The barn featured a metal manure car that ran along a track--just one of the many mechanical devices used at this state-of-the-art farm.

First Church of Christ, Congregational (Meetinghouse), Farmington, Connecticut.

Exterior view. Photograph by Jack E. Boucher, 1976.
(Reproduction Number: HABS, CONN, 2-FARM,2-8)

The First Church of Christ is Connecticut's best surviving example of a colonial-era meeting house. Built in 1771 by Captain Judah Woodruff, who also built many of the houses in Farmington, the church has undergone only minor alterations and still retains its side entrance; graceful, tall steeple; and plain, boxy styling. The church has played an important role in the town since it was built. In 1841, for instance, the African captives from the Spanish slave ship Amistad lived in Farmington and attended the First Church of Christ for several months while awaiting passage back to Africa.

The Arsenal, New Castle, Delaware.

View from Southwest. Photograph by W.S. Stewart, November 23, 1936.
(Reproduction Number: HABS, DEL, 2-NEWCA,41-1)

The U.S. government built this arsenal in 1809 under threat of war with Britain. Originally a one-story building with a wagon entrance at each end to help with the storage and distribution of arms, the Old Arsenal played an important role in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War of 1846-48. It also housed the garrison from nearby Fort Delaware when that fort burned in 1831. The second story and cupola date from the 1850s, when the building was converted into a public school.