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Cautionary Tale: "The Big One" En Route

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Back in September, now-retired Chron writer Harold Gilliam considered the Transbay Terminal site while shaking his finger at the city: "There has been no experience anywhere on Earth with hyper-high-rise buildings in earthquakes of the magnitude expected for San Francisco (think 1906)." Riffing off of Richter and failed engineering, Gilliam wondered why in hell the Transbay Terminal was being considered in terms of aesthetics, and not seismic safety (insert ego and/ or phallic-themed joke here). In today's— you guessed it— Beyond Chron, Geologist Geographer Gary Brechin invites us to gather around the campfire for another cautionary tale. Bemoaning San Francisco's ruined skyline, he wonders if "first-rate delis or Frank Gehry anythings [can] be far behind for our retiring little city?' (Gehry? We rather hope not. Proper Delis— or more than a scant few? Please Yahweh deliver unto us a Carnegie of our very own.) Brechin bolsters Gilliam's argument with a run-down of the 1906 fire: unstable land, timber primed for fire, snapped water and gas mains— all due to "heedless growth and speculative fervor." After delivering a swift kick in the ass to then-mayor Diane Feinstein for pushing the city's Planning Commission to grow San Francisco (this was back in '83), Gilliam reaches his final verdict: Yerba Buena Cove, Mission Bay, and SoMa are built atop a sandbox, and they're goin' up in smoke! (Obviously.)
· Building on Sand and Goo Again, 100 Years Later [Beyond Chron]
· Consider earthquake risks of Transbay designs [SF Gate]