“We’ll build a new San Francisco” (For Ed)

That was the rally cry at the end of the 1936 film ‘San Francisco’ starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Jeanette MacDonald. However, when these photos were taken just after the 1906 Earthquake the issue was in doubt.

RuinsMasonuseMason and Market Streets looking north toward Nob Hill: (Vintage picture from Monovisions.com)

RuinsOfarrelluseLooking east along O’Farrell Street: The domed Call Building in the center was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River at the time. You can see the remodeled Call Building, now called Central Tower, in the center of my photo. (OpenSFHistory.org)

RuinsEmporiumuseSan Franciscans crossing Market Street toward the Emporium Department Building as the fires head up Market Street.: The Call Building is already on fire in the background. (Moulin Studios)

RuinsThirduse3rd Street at Mission Street looking north: You can see the Call Building (Central Tower) peeking out on the left in my picture. The old gothic Mutual Savings Bank Building, another survivor, is in the center of both pictures.

RuinsTurkMasonuseMason, Turk, and Market Streets looking east: The Admission Day Monument on the left in the vintage picture is now on the corner of Montgomery and Market Streets. (OpenSFHistory.org)

RuinsFlooduseThis is a rare early color photo of the San Francisco ruins by Frederick Eugene. On the left is the Flood Building, center is the Mutual Savings Bank, and on the right is the Call Building. (The Smithsonian Museum of American History)

RuinsOrpheumuseThe Orpheum Theater at Hyde and Market Streets was completely destroyed and has been rebuilt. (Monovisions.com)

RuinsplaygroundudeThe west side of San Francisco didn’t get off easy, either. The Sharon Building at the Children’s Playground in Golden Gate Park was heavily damaged. The domed Carousel Building is on the left. (SFMTA Photography)

RuinsSHilluseSome things were never rebuilt. At the top of Strawberry Hill in the middle of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park was where the Sweeney Observatory once stood. It collapsed during the earthquake and is seen here in a picture taken shortly after the disaster. The ruins of the observatory are still up there and can be seen in my picture. It’s always a pleasure to meet people and talk with them when I’m working on these pictures. I met a really nice Park Ranger on top of Strawberry Hill named Ed, and I enjoyed talking about San Francisco history with him for a little while. (Monovisions.com)




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