The Bakersfield Arch, at the old Bakersfield Inn has endured for nearly seventy years, as a landmark of Bakersfield. It was built at a cost of $25,000 by Griffin Steel Construction, and placed into position in a single hour on a Sunday in June, 1949. The arch is a forty ton, steel-arched span with huge letters. It was supposed to handle guest traffic at the Bakersfield Inn. During the time when the Inn was operating, the overpass allowed guests to cross over Highway 99, to the other side, or annex of the inn. In those days, when Highway 99 was called Golden State Highway, the overpass replaced the Beale Clock Tower as the landmark which most identified Bakersfield. The clock tower was demolished after the earthquake and aftershock of 1952.
This description was taken from Historic Bakersfield by Chris Brewer