San Francisco Residential Security Map, 1937 (Raster Image)
- Home Owners Loan Corporation
- This layer is a georeferenced image of a 1937 Thomas Bros. street map of San Francisco (which also shows streetcar and trolley bus lines at the time) color coded by the Federal Government's Home Owners' Loan Corporation to indicate various levels of perceived risk to property value. These maps, drawn up for cities across the country, are associated with the practice of redlining -- denying home loans to certain neighborhoods, particularly those dominated by disfavored ethnic groups. This project traces the history of urban planning in San Francisco, placing special emphasis on unrealized schemes. Rather than using visual material simply to illustrate outcomes, Imagined San Francisco uses historical plans, maps, architectural renderings, and photographs to show what might have been. By enabling users to layer a series of urban plans, the project presents the city not only as a sequence of material changes, but also as a contingent process and a battleground for political power. Savvy institutional actors--like banks, developers, and many public officials--understood that in some cases to clearly articulate their interests would be to invite challenges. That means that textual sources like newspapers and municipal reports are limited in what they can tell researchers about the shape of political power. Urban plans, however, often speak volumes about interests and dynamics upon which textual sources remain silent. Mortgage lenders, for example, apparently thought it unwise to state that they wished to see a poor neighborhood cleared, to be replaced with a freeway onramp. Yet visual analysis of planning proposals makes that interest plain. So in the process of showing how the city might have looked, Imagined San Francisco also shows how political power actually was negotiated and exercised. Home Owners Loan Corporation (2017). San Francisco Residential Security Map, 1937 (Raster Image). Stanford University Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/pc204zy5923. This layer is presented in the WGS84 coordinate system for web display purposes. Downloadable data are provided in native coordinate system or projection.
- Stanford University. Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis
- Imagined San Francisco
- San Francisco (Calif.)
- Discrimination in mortgage loans, Roads, and Imagery and Base Maps
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