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Collection Guide
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San Francisco Department of City Planning Records
SFH 465  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Materials
  • Processing Information
  • Conservation Note
  • Materials Transferred
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: San Francisco Department of City Planning Records
    Date (inclusive): 1922-2003
    Identifier/Call Number: SFH 465
    Creator: San Francisco (Calif.). Planning Department
    Creator: San Francisco (Calif.). Department of City Planning
    Physical Description: 6.6 Cubic Feet (7 boxes)
    Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    info@sfpl.org
    Abstract: Contains reports, plans and proposals, and property surveys shaping the physical development of San Francisco in the 20th century. Also includes photographic prints and negatives documenting neighborhoods, streets, and traffic scenes.
    Physical Location: Collection is stored on site.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours.
    Photographs cannot be photocopied. Gloves are required when handling photographs.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], San Francisco Department of City Planning Records (SFH 465), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Provenance

    Transferred to the San Francisco City Archives from the San Francisco Department of City Planning in separate accessions. Photographs and negatives were transferred from the Planning Department to the San Francisco Public Library in the 1980s, with a second transfer in 2013.

    Related Materials

    Researchers are encouraged to see also the San Francisco Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering Records (SFH 458), for files on a city-wide mapping project and related construction of a wood model of the city, created by the federal Work Projects Administration.
    See also the History Center's subject files and the library catalog.
    See also Making City Planning Work, Allan B. Jacobs, Washington, D.C.: American Planning Association, c1980.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Tami J. Suzuki and Christina Moretta. Primary processing and description of Block Profiles series by Ed Michael, 1991.

    Conservation Note

    During processing, the collection was re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes.

    Materials Transferred

    Some reports were transferred to the library's book collection. Photographs have been transferred to the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection.

    Administrative History

    Long known as the San Francisco Department of City Planning, the agency more recently became known as the San Francisco Planning Department. It plays a central role in guiding the city's growth and development, including enforcing the Planning Code. The Planning Commission maintains the city's General Plan and advises the department on long-range goals, policies and programs, on issues related to land use, transportation, and current planning.
    Early city planning was based on a rectilinear block plan laid out and modified by surveyors Capt. Jean Jacques Vioget (in 1839), Jasper O'Farrell (in 1847), and William Eddy (in 1849). In 1904, architect Daniel Burnham laid out a plan that was completed just before the earthquake and fire of 1906, but the plan was ignored in the city's rebuilding. Later, some of Burnham's ideas were implemented, including the Great Highway, Yacht Harbor, Aquatic Park, Civic Center, John McLaren Park, and Telegraph Hill Park. Development westward also ensued.
    Mayor James Rolph appointed the first City Planning Commission members on Dec. 28, 1917. The commission became a city agency in 1929, charged with responsibility under the Charter to make, accept, and maintain a Master Plan for the physical development of the city. The agency was known as the San Francisco Department of City Planning.

    Scope and Contents

    Contains reports, plans and proposals, property surveys, block drawings, and photographic images shaping and documenting the physical development of San Francisco in the 20th century. Block drawings were prepared in 1938 and 1939 for construction of a 3-dimensional model of the city. Subjects include height limits, urban design, lot sizes, rezoning, street connections, and redevelopment.
    Photographs consist of prints, negatives, and color slides of neighborhoods, streets, and traffic scenes. Photo subjects include construction of the Work Projects Administration (WPA) Sectional Model of San Francisco and the Market Street transit thoroughfare.

    Arrangement

    Organized into three series: 1. Subject Files; 2. Block Profiles; and 3. Photographs and Negatives. Subject Files are arranged alphabetically. Block Profiles are arranged numerically by map number. Photographs are arranged chronologically, and by project.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    San Francisco (Calif.). Planning Department -- Archives
    San Francisco (Calif.). Department of City Planning -- Archives
    City planning -- California -- San Francisco.
    Land use -- California -- San Francisco.
    Cities and towns -- California -- San Francisco -- Growth
    San Francisco (Calif.). -- Relief models
    Photographic prints -- 20th century.
    Transparencies
    Slides--Color—1940-1950
    Slides -- Color --1970-1980