San Francisco: A Natural History

Front Cover
Arcadia Pub., 2006 - History - 127 pages
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The “real” San Francisco lies below the streets, sidewalks, and buildings, hidden from view. This famous city is known for its beautiful setting of water, trees, hills, and beaches, but relatively few people know of its true natural state. Before it

was built up and paved over, the earth here was a diverse ecosystem of creeks, marshes, sand dunes, estuaries, and densely forested hills. Over this landscape roamed elk, rabbit, bears, bobcat, and mountain lion, and the now-crowded bayfront teemed with mollusks, otters, dolphins, and whales, while huge flocks of birds blocked out the sun overhead. Today, only about two percent of the city's natural areas remain as they were. The “real” San Francisco lies below the streets, sidewalks, and buildings, hidden from view. This famous city is known for its beautiful setting of water, trees, hills, and beaches, but relatively few people know of its true natural state. Before it

was built up and paved over, the earth here was a diverse ecosystem of creeks, marshes, sand dunes, estuaries, and densely forested hills. Over this landscape roamed elk, rabbit, bears, bobcat, and mountain lion, and the now-crowded bayfront teemed with mollusks, otters, dolphins, and whales, while huge flocks of birds blocked out the sun overhead. Today, only about two percent of the city's natural areas remain as they were.

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About the author (2006)

Collected by San Francisco historians Greg Gaar and Ryder W. Miller, these vintage photographs show a San Francisco that no longer exists. But in addition to an untouched natural landscape, readers will also see how nature adapted over time to coexist with a crowded modern city. It is a poignant and engrossing story that holds more relevance than ever as cities around the world attempt to reconcile their place in the natural order.

Collected by San Francisco historians Greg Gaar and Ryder W. Miller, these vintage photographs show a San Francisco that no longer exists. But in addition to an untouched natural landscape, readers will also see how nature adapted over time to coexist with a crowded modern city. It is a poignant and engrossing story that holds more relevance than ever as cities around the world attempt to reconcile their place in the natural order.

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