Above: The iconic "Golden Gate Bridge."
The "Golden Gate Bridge" in a way, has become THE symbol of San Francisco. It is difficult to imagine what the city was like before there were ribbons of concrete and steel connected the city to the rest of the world. "Before the bridge was built, the only practical short route between San Francisco and what is now Marin County was by boat across a section of San Francisco Bay." The bridge symbolized San Francisco's step into the modern age.
When Fred Hoshiyama first came to live in San Francisco in 1930, he was 16 years old; the "Golden Gate Bridge" existed only on paper. By the time construction on the bridge was finished in 1937, Fred had become a man, and was entering college. I would like to show this parallel of "growth and construction" in the "San Francisco" sequence of "Topaz Diary." With Fred working, learning, studying, all the while the bridge being built in the backdrop.
Below: "The bridge-opening celebration began on May 27, 1937 and lasted for one week. The day before vehicle traffic was allowed, 200,000 people crossed by foot and roller skate."
Fred, and all other Americans of Japanese descent were forced to leave San Francisco for concentration camps such as "Tanforan," and "Topaz" in early 1942. It was a dark time in American history.
Above: A concept sketch of the "Golden Gate," As imagined just before Fred was forced to re-locate to the concentration camps. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the "Golden Gate" was heavily guarded, and air ships would fly up and down the bay, looking for submarines, and any other enemy activity.
The photos in this post are from the wonderful collection at the San Francisco Public Library.