The Doyle Drive Historic Corridor
Frank Pierce Doyle<< back
DURING THE 1930s AND 1940s, no single person was described as the “father of
the Golden Gate Bridge” more often than Santa Rosa banker Frank Pierce Doyle. This
was especially true in the northern California counties, from Marin to the Oregon
border, that joined with San Francisco to organize the Golden Gate Bridge and
Highway District (GGB&HD). During the early 1920s, Frank P. Doyle was the president
of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and worked to support highway and road
development in northern California and the building of Redwood Highway
(modern-day U.S. 101).
DOYLE ORGANIZED THE CRITICAL JANUARY 13, 1923 MEETING at Santa Rosa City
Hall that brought together influential engineers, business leaders and politicians from
San Francisco and the northern counties who formed the Bridging the Golden Gate
Association. Although engineer Joseph B. Strauss and San Francisco City Engineer
Michael M. O’Shaughnessy had advocated spanning the Golden Gate for several
years, Doyle’s meeting launched the organized campaign to connect Redwood
Highway with San Francisco via a bridge across the mile-wide Golden Gate.
DOYLE WAS THE LEADER of the business and civic figures whose promotional
efforts were essential to the passage of the $35 million bond issue in November
1930 that financed the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. To help stimulate the
depressed California economy, in 1932 Amadeo Giannini had his Bank of America
begin purchasing what would eventually amount to the entire bond issue.
WHILE INSPECTING THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE several months before its official
opening, Doyle was invited to turn his car over to a bridge worker who made the
bridge’s first automobile crossing. Representing the Redwood Empire Association,
Doyle cut one of three chains that officially opened the Golden Gate Bridge in May
of 1937, during a ceremony attended by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In
1940, the GGB&HD Board of Directors named the Golden Gate Bridge approach
road from Marina Boulevard to the Toll Plaza “Doyle Drive.”
Doyle worked tirelessly to organize the Golden Gate Bridge and
Highway District in the 1920s.