Kansas Farmer Builds Replica of Golden Gate Bridge

Suzan Clarke

Larry Richardson of Mulvane, Kan., was on a bus headed for a tour of duty in Vietnam when he spotted San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Bridge.

That was 1968, but the sight made a lasting impression, so much so that the 62-year-old decided to build a 150-foot replica of the bridge on his Kansas farm.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Richardson said the project seemed like a good idea at the time.

"I picked up a postcard," he said. "And I figured it had to look like that when it was done. I had someone ask me, 'What's your scale going to be?' I said, 'I just have to get to the other side.'"

He started construction in 1994, and finished in 2002.

His wife didn't oppose the idea, although Barbara Richardson was apparently not happy about the $4,000 cost of construction, the Chronicle reported.

Larry Richardson mixed cement, dug, and, failing to find the exact orange on the iconic span, "bought up every can of gold paint in the area," he told the Chronicle.

The Richardsons' bridge has become a bit of a tourist attraction, but the couple were the tourists this week. They visited San Francisco, and took in the sight of the bridge that inspired their project.

"How can you top that?" Barbara Richardson said, gazing at the iconic San Francisco landmark, according to the Marin Independent Journal. "I mean, really."