Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 11 (1906) "The Skyscraper is not to be tabooed"

The San Francisco Call reports on this day, May 11, 1906 that San Francisco merchants and property owners are eager to start rebuilding after the devastating earthquake and fire that destroyed the city on April 18. "The skyscraper is not to be tabooed...The lessons of the earthquake taught that the high building is a safe institution and it will be recommended that no such restrictions be imposed as has been proposed."

Priority was placed on re-building over remodeling, and the city was reconstructed essentially as it was before the devastation. Property-owners in Chinatown demanded "Chinatown will be rebuilt on the old site or it will not be rebuilt at all." Some argued it should be moved the more isolated Bay View Hunters Point.

Within six weeks, San Francisco's banks were open again. By June, bank clearings touched $30 million, more than any West Coast city.

Image: St. Francis Hotel, Fairmont Hotel in distance showing clean sweep of fire in business section of all except class A steel frame buildings.

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Flannery O'Connor

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.