The Emperor's Bridge Campaign

TO HONOR THE LIFE + ADVANCE THE LEGACY OF EMPEROR NORTON

RESEARCH • EDUCATION • ADVOCACY

"This, a Madman's Dream, We Shall Attain!"

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened in November 1936.

In late 1934 or early 1935, Peter Mourer, Jr. — a junior construction engineer on the project — wrote "The Bay Bridge Poem."

Clearly, as this lovely poem attests, there were those involved in the design and construction of the Bay Bridge who were very mindful of whose vision they were carrying out.


The Bay Bridge Poem

How many minds and hands are joined to rear
This towered path across the tide-swept bay!
Men pitied Norton, but the engineer
Has made his dreams reality. Today
Gaunt towers pierce the foggy shroud of night
And flood-lights gleam on blocks of man-made stone
That bind to rock, against the water’s might,
An highway, such as gods did never own!
Do they, secure in their place on high,
Cold and undreaming, prideful of their sway,
Feel, as they tread their yet unspoiled domain,
That track that we fling across their virgin sky
Is sacrilege? Surely, they too must pray
That this, a madman’s dream, we shall attain!


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