A Different Theory on the Earthquake of 1906
Author Stephen Tobriner said the fires caused most of the damage in San Francisco
May 16, 2006 11:24 AM
Author Stephen Tobriner spoke about his new book, "Bracing for Disaster: Earthquake-Resistant Architecture and Engineering in San Francisco, 1838-1933," which came out in April to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the biggest and most devastating natural disaster to occur in San Francisco, the Earthquake of 1906.
Torbiner discussed his latest work in front of around 30 guests at the "Friends of J. Paul Leonard Library" annual meeting at SF State, which took place in the Science building, room 270, at around 2 p.m., on May 11.
“There was a 40-year history of earthquake-resistant building design in San Francisco before 1906,” said Tobriner, professor of architectural history at the University of California, Berkeley.
Tobriner said the whole point of his book is that the rampant subsequent fires, and not the earthquake, caused the most damage to the city, which he added is in direct opposition to some journalistic and historical perspectives.
According to Tobriner, only 10 to 15 percent of the damage was earthquake related, and less than one percent of the population in San Francisco died in the actual earthquake.
To reinforce his thesis, Tobriner displayed many pictures and graphs of the architecture in San Francisco before and after the earthquake and fires of 1906.
Torbiner covered topics, such as his assessment about what really happened in the city’s earthquake, which structures endured the earthquake and the reasoning behind their survival.
One attendee weighed in on Tobriner's book.
Urban Whitaker, a member of the Board of Directors of the J. Paul Leonard Committee, said Tobriner's theory had
Most in attendance were part of the committee, however, the meetings - which are designed to finding ways to raise funds to support the library - are opened to the public.
“Membership to the committee is open to anyone including students,” said Robert Cherny, history professor at SF State.
Tobriner's book was available for purchase during the reception following the presentation at around 4 p.m.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University