- Joseph Strauss
Joseph Baermann Strauss (
January 9, 1870– May 16, 1938) was an German-American structural engineerand designer.
He was born in
Cincinnati, Ohioto an artistic family of German origin, having a mother who was a pianist and a father who was a writer and painter [ [http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/10great/2006-10-05-german-places_x.htm] "Two of San Francisco's best-known landmarks were built by Germans: Joseph Strauss designed the 1937 Golden Gate Bridge, and Bernard Maybeck, son of a German immigrant, designed the Palace of Fine Arts."] . He graduated from the University of Cincinnatiin 1892, serving as both class poet and president. Upon graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Strauss worked at the Office of Ralph Modjeski, where he began to innovate the design of bascule bridges. He was Chief Engineer of the Golden Gate Bridgein San Francisco, California. He placed a brick from the demolished McMicken Hall at the University of Cincinnati in the south anchorage before the concrete was poured. Strauss was also designer of the Burnside Bridge(1926) and the Lewis and Clark Bridge(1930). He also wrote a poem saluting the Sequoiaof Northern California and Southern Oregon. He died in Los Angeles, California, just one year after the Golden Gate's completion. His statue can be seen on the San Francisco side.
He also worked with the
Dominion Bridge Companyin building the Cherry Street Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridgein Toronto.
Strauss' father, Raphael Strauss (1830-1901), was a prominent painter, whose works included U.S. presidents. His pianist mother had an unfortunate accident which ultimately ended her concert career. Strauss' nephew, Ray Strauss (1907-1982), was a well-known, mid-century scarf designer in New York city.
In 1987, a major 50th anniversary celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge was held in San Francisco. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal published a March 17, 2007 article, "Spanning the Impossible," which commemorates Strauss' engineering marvel, in this its 70th year. His moving poem "Sequoia" can still be purchased by tourists visiting the California redwoods.
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goldengate/peopleevents/p_strauss.html The American Experience] ,
* [http://www.asce.org/history/bio_strauss.html Biography] by the
* [http://live.asce.org/hh/index.mxml?versionChecked=true History and Heritage of Civil Engineering] by the
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.