Re: Sanborn maps [Was historical maps}...

Chuck Soule

Regarding comments by both Jack and Dennis:

I understand that, by Sanborn convention, they showed railroad tracks, but not trolley tracks.  So Sanborn maps are not much help interpreting street railways.

Jack is correct in his surmise that the people bought the Sanborn maps started charging for them because a large demand arose about 20 years ago for conducting real estate assessments of possible historical environmental hazards on property subject to sale.  Banks will not loan money for commercial real estate anymore unless they have a "Phase 1" assessment that is basically a paper search for evidence of past environmental issues.  If issues appear to be present, a "Phase 2" assessment may also be conducted, which typically includes soil borings and chemical tests.  These provide a significant business segment within the environmental consulting industry.

Chuck Soule

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