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Making the MissionPlanning and Ethnicity in San Francisco$
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Ocean Howell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226141398

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226290287.001.0001

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Make No Big Plans

Make No Big Plans

The City Beautiful Meets Improvement Clubs

(p.33) Two Make No Big Plans
Making the Mission

Ocean Howell

University of Chicago Press

The Progressive-Era politician James Phelan invited the architect Daniel Burnham to San Francisco in 1905 to make a plan for the city, the Burnham Plan. After the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, a number of Union Labor politicians, led by Abraham Ruef, attempted to centralize authority in the municipal government to make the plan a reality. Seeing that the scheme would radically alter their neighborhood, prominent citizens of the Mission District, like James Rolph, organized. Under the auspices of a new improvement club--the Mission Promotion Association--neighborhood leaders convinced the California legislature not to expand San Francisco's municipal authority, thus halting the Burnham Plan. Though they had allies in the conservative business community, it was the Mission Promotion Association that was most responsible for defeating the plan.

Keywords:   Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, Daniel Burnham, Burnham Plan, James Rolph, James Phelan, Abraham Ruef, progressive era, improvement clubs, municipal government

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