Alright, that’s enough lamenting for now. So put a pencil in your hand and start takin’ notes, class, cause it’s time to get your learn on!
Question #1 – Just what the hell is the deal with those large brick circles you see laid in the street all over the place? What do they mean, and why the fuck are they so randomly placed and centered? I’M BAFFLED!
Photo: Chris Carlsson
Good fucking question! I had always thought they were put there as some sort of memorial or as markings of a historically significant location, and once heard, somewhere, that they stood to honor the firemen who perished fighting the 1906 inferno. To me, they were always a source of great mystery. But for the answer t0 be so shrouded in obscurity that even I, a native, was completely at a loss as to what they could possibly mean, well, that hinted at conspiracy!
So I went in search of the truth and I found it, and well, I’ll tell ya, it’s not what you’d expect.
That’s right: cisterns! Each of those circles marks the location of one of the 150 giant-ass, fucking 75,000 gallon cisterns full of emergency water for fighting disasters like earthquake and fires. They were constructed and installed underground in 1850 during rebuilding efforts following the 3rd great fire, during which a lack of pressure rendered many hydrants useless, and The Flames made us their bitch. To this day, these cisterns are considered by even the most reckless San Franciscans to be a Damn Fine Idea, and an irrigating ace in the hole that’ll hopefully have us covered next time, should we need it, God forbid.
Tune in next time, class, when we’ll be dissecting the Wave Organ!