20 May 2009

Sand dunes in San Francisco

The astonishingly far inland dune-sea at 16th Avenue and Strawberry Hill in San Francisco, approximately 109 years ago, before being engridded and buried by homes.
I remember when an earthquake hit the S.F. area, the instability of highway overpasses and homes was attributed to the vibration-induced "liquefaction" of sand underlying the structures. This old photo shows why that might have happened.

The curves at the top of the picture appear to be part of a frame or an artist's borders on a postcard. Credit, via BLDGBLOG.


  1. I don't know the history of this, but Google maps shows that location in the center of Golden Gate Park, not under houses. The Wikipedia page says this in the history intro:

    "In the 1860s, San Franciscans began to feel the need for a spacious public park similar to Central Park that was taking shape in New York. Golden Gate Park was carved out of unpromising sand and shore dunes that were known as the 'outside lands' in an unincorporated area west of then-San Francisco's borders."

    Kind of implies this area was different from where the houses were, which was why houses weren't built there.

  2. I'm not sure how you know where the area is. The link says that is Strawberry Hill in the background. Strawberry Hill is in Golden Gate Park. You don't have to be very far from the hill and the lake now to be surrounded by homes.

    Here's the Google map link -



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