Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co.

Limited Edition Artisan Furniture Crafted from Repurposed Steel off

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Introducing the New Task Lamp Design!

Back in September we posted a Sneak Peek on the pieces of original Golden Gate Bridge steel that Richard was going to use in a new Task Lamp design. He wanted to utilize some of the smaller pieces that were left over from the sections of historic handrail after crafting the larger designs. Many of these pieces had wonderful weathered details that Richard wanted to showcase in the new design, but he was not quite sure how to incorporate them into a larger item. So he worked with a local welding artist, and a lighting designer, to help take his vision and create a prototype that showcased and utilized these smaller, weathered pieces. After working through a few different shapes and styles, Richard is happy to finally introduce the new Task Lamp:


Task Lamp Front                                         Task Lamp Back

The lamp shade is a small section of channel-beam that runs along the base of the handrail. It was sliced with a band saw and fanned out to give a unique and abstract reference to the larger design of the original handrail itself. To further carry on this reference, the base reflects the same parallel rail look using additional weathered pieces of this same channel-beam welded together to create a stable platform. The post that comes up from the base to hold the shade incorporates new steel that replicates the design of the posts used for the street lights on the Golden Gate Bridge itself.


Task Lamp Shade Detail                                         Task Lamp Base Detail

One of the things Richard also wanted to use in this new Task Lamp design was low wattage LED lighting. The light fixture itself is a 6.3 watt, 410 lumens LED with a 3,000K white color temperature that is equivalent to a 35 watt halogen bulb.

The new design weighs in at 7 pounds, with a height of 17 inches and a footprint of 6 by 4 inches.

The Task Lamp has a limited production run of 390.  As with all our designs, each Task Lamp is numbered and comes with a Letter of Authenticity.

Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co.
446 Old County Road, Pacifica, CA 94044 - 415.661.6263 - -

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Production and Pricing

We often get questions about the pricing of our designs and what is involved in their production.  The price points on our designs have such a varied range due to the nature of the material and how labor intensive it is to convert something from its original purpose into something new and different.  The larger designs, such as the Night Table, are crafted from 100% Golden Gate Bridge steel, using large amounts of the historic handrail.  This makes them much heavier and more costly to produce.  Our newer designs use smaller amounts of Golden Gate Bridge handrail, incorporating new pieces of steel for the cross-members.  This makes the pieces lighter and lowers the production costs.


The Night Table is crafted from 100% historic Golden Gate Bridge steel versus the
new Side Table which incorporates new pieces of steel for the cross-members.

Another reason why our production costs are higher than some may expect is due to the efforts we go through to make sure the materials used in our products are made in America.  The Golden Gate Bridge itself is an American made wonder that was built using American materials and labor.  The steel used to construct the bridge was forged and fabricated by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation on the East Coast, shipped through the Panama Canal, and installed on the Golden Gate Bridge during its construction in the 1930s.  In fact, on many of our pieces you will find the letters “B S C” stamped into the steel by the manufacturer from when the material was originally produced.

With this history in mind, we strive to remain true to the American spirit of the Golden Gate Bridge by ensuring that all additional materials used in our designs are sourced from within the United States.  For instance, the glass used for our table tops comes from Toledo, OH, and it is cut and polished in Fairfield, CA.  This American sourced glass is three times more costly than glass imported from overseas.  The new steel that is used as cross-members in some of our lighter designs is forged in Salt Lake City, UT.  The metal identification plate on each furniture piece is sourced from Los Angeles, and it is laser cut in San Francisco, CA.  Even the small rubber pads that are used to cushion the glass table tops are an American made product that comes from St. Paul, MN.  Our designs are then all hand-crafted in small batches using local tradespeople in San Francisco.

The very nature of our product is ecofriendly, as it is a repurposing of steel that was created for one use, yet we are using it in a creative way for something else.   We try to build upon this further by creating a sustainable product using ecofriendly practices in our fabrication.  In the production of our designs, we strive to use every piece that is cut from the handrail sections, so that no steel goes to waste.  Furthermore, we use acrylic paint because oil based paint is created using a hydrocarbon based solvent that produces toxic vapors during application and clean up.  This is the same ecofriendly paint used by the Golden Gate Bridge Authority on the bridge itself, and we even obtain it from the same source.

All these factors combine to create a product that is more than a simple piece of furniture.  It is a unique piece of art and a piece of history.  It is a connection to a memory or a feeling.  We hear many wonderful stories from people who have a personal bond to the bridge and San Francisco… ranging from being a native to the area and now living in another part of the world, to having a relative who worked on the bridge or crossed it on opening day… from receiving a wedding proposal on the bridge, to sailing out underneath it on their honeymoon.  The Golden Gate Bridge has many significant meanings to many people, and our designs allow them to bring a tangible piece of that meaning into their homes to enjoy for years to come. 

Headboard                             Night Table                             Lamp Table

Cocktail Table

Post Revised 01/31/2012 

Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co.
446 Old County Road, Pacifica, CA 94044 - 415.661.6263 - -

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sneak Peek: New Side Table Design

In an effort to fill the void left by the retired small table designs, Richard has been working on a new Side Table concept.  He wanted something that was relatively different from the Accent and Occasional Tables, which utilized the cap that runs along the top of the handrail material.  With this in mind, he decided the new design would feature the Channel-beam that runs along the base of the handrail material.

After sketching a few ideas on paper, he began the prototype process and created a rendering of the design so he could get a better feel for how it would look:

Once he created the drawing, he had a better idea of how the design would be built and what sections from the handrail material would be used.  With this information, he enlisted the skills of an artistic welder to help him bring the vision to life.  The piece was then sandblasted down to the raw metal in preparation for painting.  Finally, Richard gave the prototype a fresh coat of the official Golden Gate Bridge "International Orange" paint, and was lucky enough to wake up to a sunny morning to take the first Sneak Peek photographs of the new Side Table:

The special twist to this design is that the table base can be flipped over to give the table a slightly different look:

Since Richard is still working out a few kinks in the design, we're not quite sure of the exact launch date.  There is an issue that still needs to be resolved regarding where the H-beam pickets of the handrail meet with the Channel-beam.  Due to the pitch of the Golden Gate Bridge, this angle is not always perpendicular.  In order for the table to sit flat on the ground and for the glass to lie flat on the table base, this angle needs to be taken into account when the table is crafted. 

Another design element in question is the use of a rough edge when the H-beams are cut.  In the past, for the other table designs, this cut was done with a band saw, which left a smooth edge.  However, with this prototype, the cut was done using a plasma cutting torch, which leaves a rougher, more rustic edge:

Tell us what you think about the rough edge versus the smooth edge.  We'd love to hear some feedback.  We expect the Side Table to have a limited edition production run quantity of 280.

Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co.
446 Old County Road, Pacifica, CA 94044 - 415.661.6263

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sneak Peek: New Task Lamp Design

People always ask us what we do with all the small, leftover “scrap” pieces once we produce a design. Well… the answer is that we save them in hopes of finding something cool and creative to do with them. After all, we’re repurposing and recycling a piece of history, so we don’t want to toss out even the smallest of pieces, no matter how insignificant they may seem to some.

When we introduced our first Desk Lamp design back in 2000, it had a limited edition run of 92. It was so popular, it sold out in about a year and the design was retired. Since then, we still get inquiries from customers about the Desk Lamp, hoping that one has become available over the years.

Now that Richard has a chance to think about new product designs, he thought that it would be an ideal time to come up with a design for a new lamp. However, he wanted to do something creative with those steel pieces that he always has left over from the production of existing designs. One of the most common pieces that he ends up with is the one pictured above on the left, but there is nothing really exciting about it in terms of its shape or size, and since it is such a small section of steel, it doesn’t always have much weathering on it. Then it occurred to him, what if he was able to slice it up and fan it out into some type of shade for a lamp? The result of this experiment is the fanned out sections of steel shown on the right in the photo above.

Richard still has to play with the design a little more, determine how and what to mount the shade to, and how the light will shine through, but he’s very excited to see what the next step in the prototyping process will bring. He hopes to have the design ready to go in time for the holiday season.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the launch for this new design. It may sell out quickly, so let us know if you want to be put on the waiting list to order one!

Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co.
446 Old County Road, Pacifica, CA 94044 - 415.661.6263

Friday, September 2, 2011

As summer comes to a close...

It has been a busy summer for Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co.  Although the company has been around since 1994, it has had a flurry of activity in recent months.  Richard Bulan, the founder of GGBFC, crafts limited edition, artisan furniture from repurposed steel off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Specifically, his designs are crafted from sections of pedestrian handrail, originally placed on the bridge during its construction in the 1930’s, and removed during the bridge’s handrail replacement in 1993. This summer, GGBFC has launched a new Coffee Table design, as well as a newly redesigned website. In addition, Richard Bulan has finally realized the dream of having his own space to showcase his designs by setting up a Coastside showroom.   Located on the ground floor of the Clock Tower Buliding at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, the showroom provides an inventory and order fulfillment space as well as a place to display finished product.  Richard invites you to come check out the designs at or to make an appointment to come see the showroom in Rockaway Beach, Pacifica.

Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Co.
446 Old County Road, Pacifica, CA 94044 - 415.661.6263 -