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The "Chronicle" is in receipt of a mass of suggestions for the rebuilding of San Francisco. Some of them are plausible and practicable, but the larger number are impossible and chimerical. From the former the following are given space as topics of interest to the public at this time:

W.W. Goodrich, a consulting engineer of Portland, formerly a professor in the University of California, has made a geological study of conditions in this locality and writes: "Where 'made' ground conditions exist, as in the case of Santa Rosa, Palo Alto. San Jose, Salinas, and other places –that is, a filling between walls of rock, that filling or 'made' ground is of a spongy or springy condition and in such ground the seismic conditions are the more serious. This fact has been noted all over the world. In the building of the 'perfect' San Francisco I would suggest to the investor that his foundations go to the solid rock and that the thrust braces be laid in the cement foundations to keep the building from splitting at the foundation line. Then, when the steel frame is bolted together seismic conditions can do their worst without harm."

Callaghan Byrne, capitalist, says: "I suggest that the streets between Sutter on the north, Van Ness on the west, and Market on the south, be carefully adjusted in grades that the district may be as favorable to retail business purposes as possible – for instance, Jones street between Turk and Market should be lowered and Golden Gate avenue be sloped from Hyde to Market.

"The hump on Post street from Jones to Hyde and the same on Geary street should be cut down so that a person standing at Kearny street could see to Van Ness Avenue. Leavenworth street at these crossings might be bridged over. Leavenworth to Market, the City Hall should cover less surface and, if the indebtedness could be incurred, the property between City Hall Park and Larkin fronting on Market and also on City Hall avenue should be acquired and the City Hall brought to front on Market street with a park entirely surrounding it. The destroyed hall was unsightly and covered more space than any two City Halls in America or elsewhere.

"The architects representing property owners should be appointed committees to agree on harmonious style of fronts and elevations, particularly in regard to corner buildings, which while not duplicates of each other, could have a generally similar appearance; the color of the stone, or brick, should be uniform in the retail and wholesale streets. With artistic electrical lamps and all wires under ground the city would be a marvel of beauty."

A correspondent who wishes his name withheld suggests that double- decked streets would solve the problem of transportation. Passenger depots may be near the center of the city and freight may be landed in stores by car, thus doing away with much trucking and the attendant delay in traffic. That street cars may be run at great speed with little danger to pedestrians, since most of them will keep to the upper deck. City plumbing could be under the sidewalk of the lower deck, exposed, making easy repairs to sewers, water and gas mains and all wiring and pavements need not be torn up nor removed. He says that in great part present grades will do for the lower deck; future grading of high parts on streets like Market and Kearny may be done by open sluice carrying sand into Islais Water Park, "where will be held the World's Fair of 1916."

Dr. W.R. Schott suggests two parks corresponding in character to that of the Panhandle encircling the city from South San Francisco to North Beach, dividing the city into three districts, manufacturing, wholesale and retail and residence, each protected from fire in the other by the encircling park.

George M. Stratton of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, says that the new San Francisco must be planned to resist both earthquake and fire, and fire, too, with the water supply cut off. He says: "Let me urge that open spaces he left around each great public building. The city should be divided into a number of districts, each isolated from the other wide enough to be impassable by fire. This would be accomplished by intersecting boulevards or wide, park-like avenues subdividing the city like the bulkheads of a ship."

I.W. Goldman suggests that Telegraph Hill be leveled parallel with other streets, particularly Kearny street, making a direct line with Third street from the bay on the north to the bay on the south; that this would form one of the finest and broadest avenues in the new city and should be named "New San Francisco avenue."

C.H. Libby writes that now is the city's opportunity to grant the railroads a central depot with a coast line road so that tide and rail may meet and thus avoid a cross-town ride or walk in making transfers from boat to train or from road to road.

Frank H. Short urges an extra session of the Legislature. He declares that San Francisco must be rebuilt, but that it cannot be rebuilt on "hot air and optimistic talk"; that is action and not words that is now required. He favors a state guarantee of city bonds for the rebuilding of the city. Also that the State must act promptly in restoring the public institutions. He asserts that this is no time for fanciful, extravagant, ornate nor ornamental procedure. That the longer state action is required the greater will be the opportunity for the development of local and selfish arguments in opposition to united action.

With reference to the greatly exaggerated reports sent to Eastern papers, S.J. Norton of San Rafael writes: "I would urge that every person write to his or her friends in other sections of the country a true and dispassionate account of the fate of San Francisco and that the calamity announced the dawn of San Francisco's greatness and not the knell or her doom. I would suggest also that the Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce throughout California have printed a fair and true account of the nature and extent of the calamity and that this information, in letter form, be furnished our people for dissemination among their relatives and friends and newspapers of the East."

J.H.G. Wolf of Manhattan, Nev., suggests: "Park the area between Franklin street and Van Ness avenue from Market street to Fort Mason. Extend this parked area from Van Ness Avenue to Mason street between California and Sacramento streets. Rebuild all docks and wharves of concrete and steel; install a salt water system for the fire protection of the business district.

"Establish a railroad terminal depot somewhere in the business district near Market street between Second and Fifth streets."

San Francisco Chronicle
May 6, 1906

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