San Francisco’s Embarcadero and the structures along its bayside edge show why the city’s northeast waterfront has become so alluring — and why its future is at risk.
The piers combine robust history with matchless views. There’s high culture and raffish charm, empty benches and a raucous ballpark. The wide sidewalk attracts pedestrians, joggers, cyclists and even pedicabs.
But the atmospheric structures along the Embarcadero and the piers behind them could be inundated regularly at high tide by 2100 if scientific projections of rising sea levels are correct. In the meantime, the cost of bringing the aged structures up to current building codes is so high that the act of physical preservation can violate the spirit of the past, turning funky relics into posh enclaves…(more)