San Francisco Landfill : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I am interested in the history of landfilling that took place in San Francisco Bay during the late 1840s and early 1850s expanding the city of San Francisco into the bay.

Can anyone give me a brief history of which streets were created and how they were created, (i.e., garbage fill or the building of wharfs) as well as when they were created? (Right down to the month or week, if possible)

Are there any good reference books out there that might contain information on the subject?

Many thanks to anyone who can provide me with information..

-- J. Laughlin (, March 10, 1999


"Annals of San Francisco," (written in 1854, though recently out in a new edition, I got mine from would be a good place to start for an overview of the changes SF went through in those early gold rush years.

-- dorothy (, March 18, 1999.

You might want to look at Gerald Dow's 1973 Master's thesis, Bay Fill in SF. It's on deposit at SF State. The history center at the SF main library also has a copy.

-- robert bardell (, April 16, 1999.

Sorry,a little bit of self promotion. Copies of my thesis and dissertation are at SFSU and SFPL Main Branch (Pease, J., 1993 and 1995). These are about liquefaction hazards during earthquakes and are a moderately technical. However, much of the research was documenting the extent, thickness, and consistency of fill in the various major fill areas to 1880 (and the Marina to 1914). In general, I can't improve much on Dow's historical quotes (I refer to his), but a few of the maps, if possibly confusing, do verify (from subsurface records) what the historians reported for fill in each area.

-- Jonathan Pease (Zancat, April 19, 1999.

Anyone interested in Marina District landfill should take a look at M. G. Bonilla's article in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 81, No. 5, pp. 1958-1979, October 1991. The SF Main Library has this on the 5th floor in a bound volume. The graphics alone are worth the $2.20 self-serve copying charge.

-- robert bardell (, October 08, 1999.

I heard that the landfilling started at the same time they were makeing market street, Besides adding much needed land to the city they also made a dumping ground for the extra earth and that resulted from flattening small hills for the stree

-- Nancy (, November 21, 1999.

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