Sunday, July 25, 2010

Golden Gate and Colossus

Looks like a couple of interesting new books on major US engineering fetes:

The Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam are more than just icons of American engineering. They are Depression-era monuments that transformed not only California's physical landscape, but its social one as well. The bridge linked San Francisco to rural Marin County, hastening the consolidation of the Bay Area into a huge metropolis. The dam brought reliable irrigation to Imperial Valley farms, as well as drinking water and hydroelectric power to Los Angeles and other Southwestern cities, fostering their explosive growth.

Here's more from the LA Times.


  1. Tomorrow you can read a long profile of Kevin Starr at SFGate, the Chronicle's on-line site. Today it's for print subscribers only.

    As for the Hoover dam, while it created the wealth of the Imperial Valley, it meant there would be no water going over the border and down to the Sea of Cortez. Many farms in Mexico failed; their residents became immigrant farmworkers, aka "deportee"s.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the Kevin Starr profile -- looks like it won't be available until Tuesday online.

    I have both of these books on order after reading the review.

    Carol, I've recommended Worster here before, probably before you arrived. Rivers of Empire is a scathing near-polemic on water in the West. An amazing book.

  3. And from the L.A. Times, this link:

  4. Nice story about Starr:

    Chartres would love this:

    Unlike the other casually dressed patrons at lunch in downtown San Francisco, he wears a coat and bow tie. He orders a Hangtown fry, a famous old California dish of oysters, bacon and eggs that dates from the Gold Rush.

    Sounds like he was at the Tadich 4 or 5's old hangout....