Today is the one hundred and thirteenth anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco. For the first time in awhile they didn’t extend the April 15th tax filing deadline so I was able to go over to San Francisco on the day before the anniversary to take some pictures. These are location shots of high density photographs of the disaster, many of them from the Shorpy Archives vintage picture collection.
We’ll start at the foot of Market Street looking west. The crowned Call Bulletin Newspaper Building, the tallest building in San Francisco at the time, can be seen in the far background on the left in the vintage picture. That was the ruins of an interesting looking building where the Hyatt Regency is today on the right.
We’re further up Market Street now at Montgomery Street. There are three survivors today from the vintage picture; the Call Building on the left, remodeled now and called the Central Tower, the gothic looking Mutual Savings Bank Building directly across from the Call Building, and the reddish-brown Chronicle Building, taller now that it was back then. (blogspot.com)
New Montgomery and Mission Streets, looking north toward Market Street showing the ruins of the Palace Hotel and the rebuilt Palace Hotel there today. The building in the background is the one on the right in the previous vintage picture taken at Market and Montgomery Streets.
Army soldiers brought down from the Presidio marching past the Call Building on fire: Woe betides to any looters they may have come across; they shot them on the spot back then! (blogspot.com)
We’ve moved north to Pine Street looking east past Kearny Street. That’s the Bank of America Building on the left center in the current picture.
We’re up on the top of Nob Hill now. That’s the gutted James Flood mansion, the only mansion on Nob Hill to survive the earthquake and fire. I don’t mind a cable car photo bombing one of my pictures any time. The Flood mansion is now the exclusive Pacific Union Club.
Looking toward the south western corner of California and Powell Streets where Leland Stanford’s mansion stood. Farther up California Street are the ruins of Mark Hopkins home, now the Mark Hopkins Hotel.
Refugees heading east and west along Market Street near 3rd: The Ferry Building is in the background. It’s interesting how most of them are following traffic rules and staying on the right in both directions.
And, of course, most San Franciscans favorite survivor, the Ferry Building; roughed up, but she took it well. In spite of these monstrosities they’re putting up nowadays, like the Sales Force Tower, the Ferry Building is still the “Grande Dame” of San Francisco.
One thought on “1906 + 113”
Such pictures are still haunting. The Great Earthquake is probably why my ancestors stayed in Sunnyvale rather than San Francisco. My great grandfather was just seven at the time, and my great grandmother was just five. Somewhere, there is an old post card from one of their uncles who had just arrived in San Francisco from Redding the day before, and sent a brief message of his timely arrival to his family. He described how comfortable the hotel he had checked into was, and how he looked forward go getting some good sleep after the long trip. I never experienced even a moderate earthquake. I left about two hours before the Loma Prieta Earthquake, so just felt it as a little wiggle as I was driving near King City or Salinas. I left Beverly Hills the evening before the Northridge Earthquake.