William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles

Author: Les Standiford

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062251449

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 4961

The author of Last Train to Paradise tells the story of the largest public water project ever created—William Mulholland’s Los Angeles aqueduct—a story of Gilded Age ambition, hubris, greed, and one determined man who's vision shaped the future and continues to impact us today. In 1907, Irish immigrant William Mulholland conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles—allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-then-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23 million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century. With energy and colorful detail, Water to the Angels brings to life the personalities, politics, and power—including bribery, deception, force, and bicoastal financial warfare—behind this dramatic event. At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before—considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century—Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger than life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project, and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future. Water to the Angels includes 8 pages of photographs.
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William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles

Author: Les Standiford

Publisher: Ecco

ISBN: 9780062251459

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 5353

The author of Last Train to Paradise tells the story of the largest public water project ever created—William Mulholland’s Los Angeles aqueduct—a story of Gilded Age ambition, hubris, greed, and one determined man who's vision shaped the future and continues to impact us today. In 1907, Irish immigrant William Mulholland conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles—allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-then-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23 million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century. With energy and colorful detail, Water to the Angels brings to life the personalities, politics, and power—including bribery, deception, force, and bicoastal financial warfare—behind this dramatic event. At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before—considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century—Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger than life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project, and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future. Water to the Angels includes 8 pages of photographs.
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William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles

Author: Les Standiford

Publisher: Ecco

ISBN: 9780062251428

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 2176

In 1907, Irish immigrant William Mulholland designed and began to build one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 233 miles from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Los Angeles—allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-than-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23 million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century. Mulholland, a penniless Dublin immigrant who made his way west as a stowaway on a passenger ship, personifies the American rags-to-riches tale, working from a position as a ditchdigger to become chief engineer of the Los Angeles Water Company. Confronted with a decade-long drought that threatened his adopted city's future, the self taught Mulholland found the answer in the rushing snow melt from the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, nearly 250 miles away. He proposed to build an aqueduct that would outdo any such ever conceived, one that would carry an entire river from its source to Los Angeles, through mountains, over chasms, and across an alternately freezing and blistering terra incognita, because he believed it was the city's only hope. The project brought a simmering-to-this-day firestorm of protest from residents of California's Owens Valley where the waters would be taken, as well as an all-out onslaught from political opponents and vested interests in Los Angeles, who were fearful of losing their stranglehold on the city's yield. But after nine years of struggle, including the efforts of thousands of workmen—many of whom lost their lives—and the use of engineering techniques and strategies never previously employed, Mulholland turned the gates and loosed the waters that brought an unprecedented wave of development and prosperity to his city and the region. Though the landmark film Chinatown touched on the subject, Mulholland was characterized there as Hollis Mulwray, a colorless pipsqueak easily dispatched by archvillain and developer Noah Cross (John Houston). In real life, however, Mulholland was every bit the equal of any of his foes, a colorful, brook-no-nonsense man of the people who accomplished a feat like no other and became a hero in the process. Water to the Angels is not only a book that provides insight into the seeds of significant ecological concerns of this day, it is also a stirring story of accomplishment against all odds, all the more captivating for being true. As Robert Towne, author of the screenplay for Chinatown suggests, the subject is timeless. "I found the ubiquity of water in everyone's lives to be compelling. Everybody needs water." At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before—considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century—Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger-than-life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project, and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future.
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Author: Catherine Mulholland

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520234666

Category: Architecture

Page: 411

View: 2674

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.
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Author: Margaret Leslie Davis

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497613779

Category: History

Page: 268

View: 7059

Rivers in the Desert is the quintessential American story. It follows the remarkable career of William Mulholland, the visionary who engineered the rise of Los Angeles as the greatest American city west of the Mississippi. He sought to transform the sparse and barren desert into an inhabitable environment by designing the longest aqueduct in the Western Hemisphere, bringing water from the mountains to support a large city. Davis chronicles Mulholland’s dramatic ascension to wealth and fame, followed by his tragic downfall after the sudden collapse of the dam he had constructed to safeguard the water supply. The disaster, which killed at least five hundred people, caused his repudiation by allies, friends, and a previously adoring community. Epic in scope, Rivers in the Desert chronicles the history of Los Angeles and examines the tragic fate of the man who rescued it.
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Author: John Nichols

Publisher: Arcadia Publishing

ISBN: 9780738520797

Category: History

Page: 128

View: 9296

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.
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The Conflict Over Los Angeles Water Supply in the Owens Valley

Author: William L. Kahrl

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520050681

Category: History

Page: 584

View: 3460

It is not the purpose of this work to propose a specific format for the settlement of the city's current difficulties with the valley, to resolve the environmental questions associated with Los Angeles's proposed groundwater pumping program, or to promote any cause associated with the developing situation in the Owens Valley. But by performing the essential historical task of separating what happened from what did not, and by distinguishing in this way the choices which have been made from those which have yet to be decided, it is my hope that this effort will help to establish that common basis for understanding which is essential for the debate over specific issues to proceed most effectively. This book, then, is scarcely the last word on the Owens Valley conflict: the final chapter, after all, has yet to be written. The story that has emerged here is at once very different and more troubling than the conventional treatments of the conflict as a simplistic political morality play. Any attempt to deal with so controversial a subject, however, is almost certain to spark controversy itself. For that reason, with the exception of a small collection of private letters, this work is constructed entirely from the published documents and other materials available to the general public, anchoring the narrative in sources the reader can consult to trace the line of my argument on any point with which he or she may disagree. In addition, the work as a whole has been reviewed for technical accuracy by officials of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, although the department is in no way responsible for the content of this study or the conclusions drawn from it.
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Los Angeles, 1850-1930

Author: Robert M. Fogelson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520082303

Category: History

Page: 362

View: 9578

"The most detailed study ever published of Los Angeles' most critical period. . . . An invaluable aid to my understanding of this city."—David Brodsly, author of L.A. Freeway
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The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles

Author: Jon Wilkman

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 162040916X

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 7245

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.
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William Mulholland and the St. Francis Dam Disaster

Author: Norris Hundley,Donald C. Jackson,Jean Patterson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520287665

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 7552

Minutes before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed, sending more than 12 billion gallons of water surging through California’s Santa Clara Valley and killing some 400 people, causing the greatest civil engineering disaster in twentieth-century American history. This extensively illustrated volume gives an account of how the St. Francis Dam came to be built, the reasons for its collapse, the terror and heartbreak brought by the flood, the efforts to restore the Santa Clara Valley, the political factors influencing investigations of the failure, and the effect of the disaster on dam safety regulation. Underlying all is a consideration of how the dam—and the disaster—were inextricably intertwined with the life and career of William Mulholland.
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Dreamers, Believers, Builders, (Large Print 16pt)

Author: Mark Arax

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1459613643

Category:

Page: 440

View: 9080

Teddy Roosevelt once exclaimed, ''When I am in California, I am not in the West, I am west of the West,'' and in this book, Mark Arax sets out to explain just what TR meant. His is a compelling, sometimes ominous portrait of a place and its people who are often surviving on the edge, reliving history, and losing their way in the promised land: ''The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman'' is a deeply-felt portrait of an immigrant family from Oaxaca, followed through harrowing border crossings and raisin harvests; ''the Last Okie of Lamont,'' (the inspiration for the town featured in The Grapes of Wrath) has only one Okie left, who tells Arax his life story as he drives to a funeral to bury one more Dust Bowl migrant; and ''Highlands of Humboldt'' is a visit to the marijuana growing capital of the U.S., where the local bank collects a sizeable daily deposit of cash, most of which reeks of marijuana.Combining hard-hitting reporting and stellar writing, Arax captures both the atmosphere of social upheaval and the sense of being rooted in a community. Once you meet the people portrayed in this book, you won't forget them.
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The 1910 Bombing of the Los Angeles Times and America's Forgotten Decade of Terror

Author: Lew Irwin

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0762795247

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 8467

Between 1907 and 1911, the United States was hit by the longest period of sustained terrorism in its history. Of more than 200 bombings that were carried out during this period, the most shocking was the dynamiting of the Los Angeles Times building on the morning of October 1, 1910, which killed twenty-one people. Deadly Times tells the fascinating story of the bombing, the search to apprehend the bombers, the issues that polarized the nation, and the dramatic trials that ensued. The magnificent cast of characters includes: General Harrison Gray Otis, owner of the Los Angeles Times, whose proposal to de-unionize San Francisco and Los Angeles led to its being singled out as a bombing target. William J. Burns, who tracked down the bombers and would eventually become the first director of the FBI. Earl Rogers, the brilliant criminal attorney, drinking companion of Jack London, who became the model for Perry Mason. The legendary Clarence Darrow, who defended the bombers And the bombers themselves, the brothers J.J. and J.B. McNamara, who on their arrest became symbols of capitalist treachery to the working class.
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Author: Remi A. Nadeau

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781296495640

Category: History

Page: 324

View: 2907

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Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles

Author: Gary Krist

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 045149640X

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 5297

From bestselling author Gary Krist, the story of the metropolis that never should have been and the visionaries who dreamed it into reality Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California—bone-dry, harbor-less, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges—seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world’s iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles’ meteoric rise were three flawed visionaries: William Mulholland, an immigrant ditch-digger turned self-taught engineer, designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life here possible. D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture, gave L.A. its signature industry. And Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion, cemented the city’s identity as a center for spiritual exploration. All were masters of their craft, but also illusionists, of a kind. The images they conjured up—of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dreamworks, of a community of seekers finding personal salvation under the California sun—were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. All three would pay a steep price to realize these dreams, in a crescendo of hubris, scandal, and catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained. Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination.
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Author: Mike Davis

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1844675688

Category: Political Science

Page: 462

View: 9951

This new edition of Mike Davis’s visionary work gives an update on Los Angeles as the city hits the 21st century. No metropolis has been more loved or more hated. To its official boosters, "Los Angeles brings it all together." To detractors, LA is a sunlit mortuary where "you can rot without feeling it." To Mike Davis, the author of this fiercely elegant and wide- ranging work of social history, Los Angeles is both utopia and dystopia, a place where the last Joshua trees are being plowed under to make room for model communities in the desert, where the rich have hired their own police to fend off street gangs, as well as armed Beirut militias. In City of Quartz, Davis reconstructs LA's shadow history and dissects its ethereal economy. He tells us who has the power and how they hold on to it. He gives us a city of Dickensian extremes, Pynchonesque conspiracies, and a desperation straight out of Nathaniel Westa city in which we may glimpse our own future mirrored with terrifying clarity. In this new edition, Davis provides a dazzling update on the city's current status.
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J.G. Boswell and the Making of A Secret American Empire

Author: Mark Arax,Rick Wartzman

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 0786752793

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 2754

J.G. Boswell was the biggest farmer in America. He built a secret empire while thumbing his nose at nature, politicians, labor unions and every journalist who ever tried to lift the veil on the ultimate "factory in the fields." The King of California is the previously untold account of how a Georgia slave-owning family migrated to California in the early 1920s,drained one of America 's biggest lakes in an act of incredible hubris and carved out the richest cotton empire in the world. Indeed, the sophistication of Boswell 's agricultural operation -from lab to field to gin - is unrivaled anywhere. Much more than a business story, this is a sweeping social history that details the saga of cotton growers who were chased from the South by the boll weevil and brought their black farmhands to California. It is a gripping read with cameos by a cast of famous characters, from Cecil B. DeMille to Cesar Chavez.
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A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present

Author: Robert Atkins

Publisher: Abbeville Press

ISBN: 9780789211507

Category: Art

Page: 288

View: 3142

An expanded, full-color edition of a leading lexicon of contemporary art provides nearly 150 alphabetical entries that explain the who, what, where and when of postwar and contemporary art through concise mini-essays on key terms by a veteran art critic and dozens of images that illustrate essential works and movements.
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A Tale of Three Rivers, 1900-1941

Author: William Deverell,Tom Sitton

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520292421

Category: History

Page: 158

View: 3971

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.
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The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource

Author: David Sedlak

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 030019935X

Category: Nature

Page: 349

View: 1378

Turn on the faucet, and water pours out. Pull out the drain plug, and the dirty water disappears. Most of us give little thought to the hidden systems that bring us water and take it away when we’re done with it. But these underappreciated marvels of engineering face an array of challenges that cannot be solved without a fundamental change to our relationship with water, David Sedlak explains in this enlightening book. To make informed decisions about the future, we need to understand the three revolutions in urban water systems that have occurred over the past 2,500 years and the technologies that will remake the system.div /DIVdivThe author starts by describing Water 1.0, the early Roman aqueducts, fountains, and sewers that made dense urban living feasible. He then details the development of drinking water and sewage treatment systems—the second and third revolutions in urban water. He offers an insider’s look at current systems that rely on reservoirs, underground pipe networks, treatment plants, and storm sewers to provide water that is safe to drink, before addressing how these water systems will have to be reinvented. For everyone who cares about reliable, clean, abundant water, this book is essential reading./DIV
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Author: Charles P. Hobbs

Publisher: Arcadia Publishing

ISBN: 1625852002

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 7722

Los Angeles transportation's epic scale--its iconic freeways, Union Station, Los Angeles International Airport and the giant ports of its shores--has obscured many offbeat transit stories of moxie and eccentricity. Triumphs such as the Vincent Thomas Bridge and Mac Barnes's Ground Link buspool have existed alongside such flops as the Santa Monica Freeway Diamond Lane and the Oxnard-Los Angeles Caltrain commuter rail. The City of Angels lacks a propeller-driven monorail and a freeway in the paved bed of the Los Angeles River, but not for a lack of public promoters. Horace Dobbins built the elevated California Cycleway in Pasadena, and Mike Kadletz deployed the Pink Buses for Orange County kids hitchhiking to the beach. Join Charles P. Hobbs as he recalls these and other lost episodes of LA-area transportation lore.
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