Press Release

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Oakland Museum of California Welcomes Original Bay Bridge Troll in Gallery of California History For Limited Time
Oakland Museum of California and the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee Partner to Provide Public Access to Original Bay Bridge Troll

(Oakland, CA)— The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) and the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC) have partnered to provide public access to the original Bay Bridge troll. The troll will be on view in OMCA’s Gallery of California History November 6, 2013 through February 23, 2014, coinciding with the on view dates for the major exhibition Above and Below: Stories From Our Changing Bay, which features a special section dedicated to the original Bay Bridge, including a replica of the original troll.

“The Bay Area community has a strong connection to the troll as seen through the public response over the fate of the troll once the old bridge began deconstruction,” says OMCA CEO and Director Lori Fogarty. “The Oakland Museum of California is delighted to be able to provide a temporary home for the troll during a time when the Museum is activated with four special exhibitions that celebrate the Year of the Bay, including a special section dedicated to the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge.”

Ironworkers secretly welded the troll to the east span of the Bay Bridge in 1989, while repairing damage caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake. For many people the troll, made by local artist Bill Roan, is a good-luck icon that has protected the bridge all these years. When the east span closed on August 30, 2013, workers removed the troll. The speculation over the fate of the troll was widely covered in the media with active community commentary over the matter that showcased a vested public interest in preserving and providing access to the troll.

The permanent home of the troll is still yet to be determined, however, one consideration is of the troll commanding a place of prominence in the new regional park planned for the foot of the Bay Bridge in Oakland. For the present time, the Oakland Museum of California will provide the temporary home for the original Bay Bridge troll, so that the public can experience the object as a memorial to the old East Span, and to everyone whose efforts kept it standing strong for 24 years after the earthquake.