floodpath the deadliest man made disaster of 20th century america and the making of modern los angeles

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Floodpath

Author : Jon Wilkman
ISBN : 9781620409169
Genre : History
File Size : 36. 8 MB
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Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, a twenty-story-high concrete structure just fifty miles north of Los Angeles, suddenly collapsed, releasing a devastating flood that roared fifty-four miles to the Pacific Ocean, destroying everything in its path. It was a horrific catastrophe, yet one which today is virtually forgotten. With research gathered over more than two decades, award-winning writer and filmmaker Jon Wilkman revisits the deluge that claimed nearly five hundred lives. A key figure is William Mulholland, the self-taught engineer who created an unprecedented water system, allowing Los Angeles to become America's second-largest city, and who was also responsible for the design and construction of the St. Francis Dam. Driven by eyewitness accounts and combining urban history with a life-and-death drama and a technological detective story, Floodpath grippingly reanimates the reality behind L.A. noir fictions such as the classic film Chinatown. In an era of climate change, increasing demand on water resources, and a neglected American infrastructure, the tragedy of the St. Francis Dam has never been more relevant.

Floodpath

Author : Jon Wilkman
ISBN : 9781620409152
Genre : History
File Size : 27. 77 MB
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A visionary and controversial search for water made Los Angeles possible. But the failure of the St. Francis Dam remains an urgent lesson about our human limits, all but forgotten today.

Floodpath

Author : Jon Wilkman
ISBN : 1620409178
Genre : History
File Size : 83. 13 MB
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Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, a twenty-story-high concrete structure just fifty miles north of Los Angeles, suddenly collapsed, releasing a devastating flood that roared fifty-four miles to the Pacific Ocean, destroying everything in its path. It was a horrific catastrophe, yet one which today is virtually forgotten. With research gathered over more than two decades, award-winning writer and filmmaker Jon Wilkman revisits the deluge that claimed nearly five hundred lives. A key figure is William Mulholland, the self-taught engineer who created an unprecedented water system, allowing Los Angeles to become America's second-largest city, and who was also responsible for the design and construction of the St. Francis Dam. Driven by eyewitness accounts and combining urban history with a life-and-death drama and a technological detective story, Floodpath grippingly reanimates the reality behind L.A. noir fictions such as the classic film Chinatown. In an era of climate change, increasing demand on water resources, and a neglected American infrastructure, the tragedy of the St. Francis Dam has never been more relevant.

St Francis Dam Disaster

Author : John Nichols
ISBN : 9781439630334
Genre : Nature
File Size : 45. 32 MB
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Minutes before midnight on the evening of March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed. The dam's 200-foot concrete wall crumpled, sending billions of gallons of raging flood waters down San Francisquito Canyon, sweeping 54 miles down the Santa Clara River to the sea, and claiming over 450 lives in the disaster. Captured here in over 200 images is a photographic record of the devastation caused by the flood, and the heroic efforts of residents and rescue workers. Built by the City of Los Angeles' Bureau of Water Works and Supply, the failure of the St. Francis Dam on its first filling was the greatest American civil engineering failure of the 20th century. Beginning at dawn on the morning after the disaster, stunned local residents picked up their cameras to record the path of destruction, and professional photographers moved in to take images of the washed-out bridges, destroyed homes and buildings, Red Cross workers giving aid, and the massive clean-up that followed. The event was one of the worst disasters in California's history, second only to the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

William Mulholland And The Rise Of Los Angeles

Author : Catherine Mulholland
ISBN : 0520234669
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 87. 68 MB
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Mulholland presided over the creation of a water system that forever changed the course of Southern California's history. In the first full-length biography of the water and civil engineer, his granddaughter provides insights into the triumphant completion of the Owens Valley Aqueduct and the San Francisquito Dam tragedy that ended his career. Archival photos. 7 maps.

Colossus

Author : Michael Hiltzik
ISBN : 1439181586
Genre : History
File Size : 37. 99 MB
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As breathtaking today as the day it was completed, Hoover Dam not only shaped the American West but helped launch the American century. In the depths of the Great Depression it became a symbol of American resilience and ingenuity in the face of crisis, putting thousands of men to work in a remote desert canyon and bringing unruly nature to heel. Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Michael Hiltzik uses the saga of the dam’s conception, design, and construction to tell the broader story of America’s efforts to come to grips with titanic social, economic, and natural forces. For embodied in the dam’s striking machine-age form is the fundamental transformation the Depression wrought in the nation’s very culture—the shift from the concept of rugged individualism rooted in the frontier days of the nineteenth century to the principle of shared enterprise and communal support that would build the America we know today. In the process, the unprecedented effort to corral the raging Colorado River evolved from a regional construction project launched by a Republican president into the New Deal’s outstanding—and enduring—symbol of national pride. Yet the story of Hoover Dam has a darker side. Its construction was a gargantuan engineering feat achieved at great human cost, its progress marred by the abuse of a desperate labor force. The water and power it made available spurred the development of such great western metropolises as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and San Diego, but the vision of unlimited growth held dear by its designers and builders is fast turning into a mirage. In Hiltzik’s hands, the players in this epic historical tale spring vividly to life: President Theodore Roosevelt, who conceived the project; William Mulholland, Southern California’s great builder of water works, who urged the dam upon a reluctant Congress; Herbert Hoover, who gave the dam his name though he initially opposed its construction; Frank Crowe, the dam’s renowned master builder, who pushed his men mercilessly to raise the beautiful concrete rampart in an inhospitable desert gorge. Finally there is Franklin Roosevelt, who presided over the ultimate completion of the project and claimed the credit for it. Hiltzik combines exhaustive research, trenchant observation, and unforgettable storytelling to shed new light on a major turning point of twentieth-century history.

A New Species Of Trouble

Author : Kai T. Erikson
ISBN : 0393313190
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 36. 37 MB
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In the twentieth century, disasters caused by human beings have become more and more common. Unlike earthquakes and other natural catastrophes, this 'new species of trouble' afflicts person and groups in particularly disruptive ways.

The King And Queen Of Malibu The True Story Of The Battle For Paradise

Author : David K. Randall
ISBN : 9780393292930
Genre : History
File Size : 64. 21 MB
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New York Times best-selling author David K. Randall spins a remarkable tale of the American West and the desire of one couple to preserve paradise. Frederick and May Rindge, the unlikely couple whose love story propelled Malibu’s transformation from an untamed ranch in the middle of nowhere to a paradise seeded with movie stars, are at the heart of this story of American grit and determinism. He was a Harvard-trained confidant of presidents; she was a poor Midwestern farmer’s daughter raised to be suspicious of the seasons. Yet the bond between them would shape history. The newly married couple reached Los Angeles in 1887 when it was still a frontier, and within a few years Frederick, the only heir to an immense Boston fortune, became one of the wealthiest men in the state. After his sudden death in 1905, May spent the next thirty years fighting off some of the most powerful men in the country—as well as fissures within her own family—to preserve Malibu as her private kingdom. Her struggle, one of the longest over land in California history, would culminate in a landmark Supreme Court decision and lead to the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway. The King and Queen of Malibu traces the path of one family as the country around them swept off the last vestiges of the Civil War and moved into what we would recognize as the modern age. The story of Malibu ranges from the halls of Harvard to the Old West in New Mexico to the beginnings of San Francisco’s counter culture amid the Gilded Age, and culminates in the glamour of early Hollywood—all during the brief sliver of history in which the advent of railroads and the automobile traversed a beckoning American frontier and anything seemed possible.

Water And Los Angeles

Author : William Deverell
ISBN : 9780520292420
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 65 MB
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A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. Los Angeles rose to significance in the first half of the twentieth century by way of its complex relationship to three rivers: the Los Angeles, the Owens, and the Colorado. The remarkable urban and suburban trajectory of southern California since then cannot be fully understood without reference to the ways in which each of these three river systems came to be connected to the future of the metropolitan region. This history of growth must be understood in full consideration of all three rivers and the challenges and opportunities they presented to those who would come to make Los Angeles a global power. Full of primary sources and original documents, Water and Los Angeles will be of interest to both students of Los Angeles and general readers interested in the origins of the city.

Where The Water Goes

Author : David Owen
ISBN : 9780698189904
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 2 MB
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A downstream adventure into the heart of one of America’s most important water systems examining where our water comes from and where it all goes The Colorado River is a crucial resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert, and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.

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