The photograph below depicts Potrero Hill in San Francisco in 2003.The passage below is from a newspaper article written in 1895. How does the man in the article feel about the new housing in Potrero Hill? What would he say if he saw the photograph? How have attitudes towards growth changed over the past hundred years? How have they stayed the same?
Potrero Hill 2003
The City's Suburbs, 1895.
"The Potrero is not what is used to be," said Engineer Thomas Murphy of Engine Company No. 16 as he sat on the edge of the sidewalk in front of the engine-house door and watched a gang of workmen tearing down a big hill of solid rock a block or two away. "A few years ago, when I was first stationed here, I knew every person in the Potrero. I could tell how many children there were in every family and knew the names of every one of them, even down to the baby. Now it is changed. The Potrero has put on city airs and I don't know whether I am acquainted with my next door neighbor or not. Houses have been built so fast that I have given up trying to keep track of them. There is a roar of machinery all day long and mixed with it is the sound of the carpenter's hammer and the buzz of the Trolley car. The Potrero is getting to be a metropolitan place and the Fire Commissioners are recognizing it. They have prepared plans to remodel our headquarters and make it a modern engine-house."
Many of the high and steep hills of the Potrero that a few years ago were almost insurmountable have been carted away and dumped into ravines through which streets have been opened and graded. Handsome residences now stand on land that a short while ago was almost worthless. The trolley railways have brought many people to the Potrero to live because they could buy property to better advantage and build a home for themselves, while many of those who were employed in the Potrero but lived in the city took advantage of the improvements that were being made or contemplated and secured lots on which they are now building small, but comfortable homes. . . .
Source: San Francisco Examiner. 9 September 1895. 4. Donated to the Public Domain by Ron S. Filion. San Francisco Genealogy.http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/history/sindex.htm--------------------
1. Which parts sound familiar to modern ears? Which parts sound unfamiliar?
2. According to the article, what drives urban growth?