A brick walkway behind the Golden Gate Bridge visitors' center, laid in 1987 to mark the bridge's 50th anniversary and paid for by donors some of whom had the names of dead loved ones inscribed on them is getting torn out by the bridge authority before the bridge's 75th anniversary celebrations in May. The reason: The walkway is not ADA compliant (it's a little too steep), and it was installed just three years before the ADA regulations were put in place in 1990.
Now that the visitors' center is getting renovated, prior to the anniversary, the law requires that any new construction be ADA compliant. The bricks, therefore, are getting jettisoned, and the bridge authority blocked efforts by some of the bricks' donors to come and grab the bricks themselves, for sentimental reasons. The Chron quotes a sad older man, Tom Libby of Bernal Heights, who bought a brick to honor his longtime partner, Cliff Ochampaugh, who died of AIDS in 1987. He wrote to the paper, alerting them of this brick story, saying his brick had "both of our names on it, to forever link our names at a place that we loved." More than 7,000 of these bricks were sold.
We're still not clear why a) the bricks couldn't have been reused in a new walkway, and b) why they wouldn't let donors have them back, since they kinda paid for them they've instead gone to the trouble of taking a digital photo of each brick, which they will email to donors if they request it. Also, they're putting a "new tribute wall [in] the visitors' center [that] will include the names of everyone on the commemorative bricks, along with the exact messages inscribed on each brick." This just seems very backward.