City Beautiful in San Francisco
“We must remember that a meager plan will fall short of perfect achievement, while a great one will yield large results, even if it is never fully realized… Our purpose therefore, must be to stop at no line within the limits of practicability. Our scope must embrace the possibilities of development of the next fifty years.” 1
The fires following the San Francisco earthquake of April 1906 provided a tabula rasa that Burnham could never have imagined. However, rather than seize the opportunity to create the elegant city he proposed, the local merchants’ desire to rebuild as rapidly as possible determined the rebuilding of the city. Nevertheless, the Beaux Arts influence was realized in a number of new buildings throughout the city, such as G. Albert Lansburgh's Gunst Building.
1 Burnham, Daniel H. and Edward H. Bennett, Report on a Plan for San Francisco, San Francisco, Sunset Press, 1905 p. 35.