Posts Tagged ‘masonry’

The Sad End of the WWII-era Locomotives of the Old San Francisco Belt Railroad

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Here’s where they sit now, Numbers 25 and 23 from the oddball San Francisco Belt Railroad. That was the shortline that California started in 1891

These locomotives were built during World War II to haul stuff around the waterfront, but since 1993 they’ve generally been cloistered inside Pier 96, making a few short trips now and then.

As seen at the end of Cargo Way near Heron’s Head Park:

Click to expand

Here’s what the “roundhouse” used to look like at Sansome and Embarcadero. Check it, the building is still there – can you see where the tracks were?

Tourism is a much more important biz than freight-hauling these days, so don’t look for rail to make a comeback along the waterfront anytime soon. But maybe we’ll get the Fort Mason Tunnel open again for transit, once the goddamn NIMBYs of the Marina stop screaming about it.


Mayor Gavin Newsom Tells Homeowners to Fix Their Houses Before the Next Quake

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Here’s a test. Take a look at this spectacular hiking video that will make your heart race and then compare it with the structure from the East Bay shown below. Which is scarier? Now, hold on, just imagine living in such an apartment during the next Big One. The Northridge Earthquake back in 1994 showed us how people living in buildings with soft stories live and die in L.A. Mayor Newsom is using the bully pulpit to get out the word that some buildings in town need retrofitting now.

On the other hand, some don’t wish to “dive into” fixing things right now, perhaps preferring instead to wait until after an earthquake? Did “politics” hamper the push to get people to do what they ought to on their own, alleged by tenant advocate and artist Debra Walker in this concise report from Carolyn Tyler?

Click, ever so gently, to expand:


By seismophobic MaryMactavish, who can’t imagine it would take more than a 5.5 or 6 on the Hayward Fault to bring this building down, via Flickr

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Mr. Newsom reminding building owners of their abnegation. What’s that? You want the city to pay to fix your house? Of all the uses of a home equity loan, retro-fitment for the next shake would seem to be the best choice.  

Quake safety is an obligation, is it not? Read the spiel and then decide.

Executive Directive 08-07

Seismic Strengthening of Soft Story Buildings

1. Expedite completion of the soft-story component of the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) initiative, including the development of retrofit guidelines for soft-story, wood-frame buildings.

2. Expedite immediately and waive fees for projects that include seismic strengthening and related Planning Department reviews of soft-story buildings

3. Increase outreach and awareness on the importance of seismic strengthening

4. Create a soft-story, wood-frame exercise scenario in the October 2008 Citywide emergency drill