Beauty in Function: Willis Polk’s Classical Central Pump Station

On the weekends, one may drive along Sloat Boulevard and see dozens of families gathering on the green near Central Pump Station for soccer games. They may not realize that just to their side is an important water facility for the City. Built in 1912, Central Pump Station, located on Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco,…

A Look Back in History: Predatory Animals on Peninsula Watershed

A letter from the San Francisco Water Department dated 1963 addressed to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) outlines an interesting dilemma. Evidently the DOI is interested in abating predatory animals on the peninsula watershed lands. They have proposed to do so using “steel traps.” And they have requested the Department “take certain positive…

Meet the Snake with Racing Stripes at the Alameda Creek Watershed

In the Sunol Valley, there is a special species of snake that lives in the Alameda Creek Watershed. It is no other than the Alameda whipsnake, or sometimes called the Alameda Striped Racer, (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), a subspecies of the California whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis). It has made the coastal scrub, chaparral, and grassland habitats in…

A Spook-Tacular Calaveras Dam Ghost Story

It seems even state-of-the-art construction projects like the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project aren’t without their ghostly places. While moving the rock and soil to make space for the New Calaveras Dam, workers uncovered what looked like holes dug into the area surrounding the existing dam. The holes are actually adits excavated by the builders of…

A Look Back in History: Pulgas Temple Anniversary

​On October 28, 1934 twenty thousand excited people gathered at Pulgas water temple to watch as the first water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains made its way 160 miles through the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct to the Bay Area. Designed by famed architect William G. Merchant in the Beaux Arts style, the San Francisco Water Department…