About

Gray Brechin is currently a visiting scholar at the UC Berkeley Department of Geography working on the Living New Deal Project. He is the author of Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin and (with photographer Robert Dawson) Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream.

Contributions

Forgotten Foundation

January 01, 2008 by Gray Brechin

On a trail at Mount Tamalpais or Diablo, perfectly set stone steps make an ascent easier; farther along, a massive log bridge crosses a rugged ravine. It's common to pass by and take these structures, and those who made them, for granted. This spring marks the 75th anniversary of the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose epic New Deal work projects brought us not only dams and bay fill but also enduring public trails and other park infrastructure that thousands of people use today with little knowledge of their origins and the great nationwide social experiment that built them.

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