Sunday, June 13, 2010

USA - Historic Preservation 29.10.1971

San Francisco's Cable Cars. The driving force behind the San Francisco cable car system came from a man who witnessed a horrible accident on a typically damp summer day in 1869. Andrew Smith Hallidie saw the toll slippery grades could extract when a horse- drawn streetcar slid backwards under its heavy load. The steep slope with wet cobblestones and a heavily weighted vehicle combined to drag five horses to their deaths. Although such a sight would stun anyone, Hallidie and his partners had the know-how to do something about the problem. Hallidie had been born in England and moved to the U.S. in 1852. His father filed the first patent in Great Britain for the manufacture of wire- rope. As a young man, Hallidie found uses for this technology in California's Gold Country. He used the wire rope when designing and building a suspension bridge across Sacramento's American River. He also found another use for the wire rope when pulling heavy ore cars out of the underground mines on tracks. The technology was in place for pulling cable cars. The next step bringing Hallidie closer to his fate was moving his wire- rope manufacturing to San Francisco. All that was now needed was seeing the accident for the idea to become full blown-a cable car railway system to deal with San Francisco's fearsome hills.
Charles W. Morgan was a U.S. whale ship during the 19th and early 20th century. Ships of this type usually harvested the blubber of whales for whale oil, which was commonly used in lamps during the time period. The ship is currently an exhibit at the Mystic Seaport museum in Mystic, Connecticut.
Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation. Named for a pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order), the Mission is also known as the "place where the water appears" as the Santa Cruz River (which runs underground) surfaces nearby. The Mission is situated in the centre of a centuries-old Indian settlement of the Tohono O'odham (formerly known as Papago), located along the banks of the Santa Cruz River.
Decatur House is a historic home in Washington, D.C., named after its former occupant Stephen Decatur. Decatur House is one of the oldest surviving homes in Washington, D.C., and one of only three remaining houses in the country designed by neoclassical architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Completed in 1818 for naval hero Stephen Decatur and his wife, Susan, the Federal Style house is prominently located across Lafayette Square from the White House. It was successively home to Henry Clay, Martin Van Buren, Judah P. Benjamin, who collectively made Decatur House the unofficial residence of the Secretary of State from 1827 to 1833, each renting the house while they served in that post.
In 1836 John Gadsby and his wife Providence moved into the house and brought their house slaves. They built a two-story structure at the back, which became the slave quarters for those workers, who previously lived in the main house. This structure remains as one of the few examples of slave quarters in urban areas. It is physical evidence of African Americans' having been held "in bondage in sight of the White House."
Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a frontiersman and explorer who later became a rancher and diplomat purchased Decatur House in 1872. Beale's daughter-in-law, Marie, bequeathed Decatur House to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1956. The house was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1976.

No comments:

Post a Comment