Splendid Survivors

How to get a drink or a meal or a night’s sleep before April 18, 1906

Finding traces of pre-earthquake San Francisco is a bit like a treasure hunt, a fascinating but not impossible challenge. “The Big Quake” and fire may have leveled three-quarters of the city, but incredibly, some landmarks were salvaged and restored and have kept their turn-of-the-century flavor. Few of the following locations were left completely (or even mostly) intact after the earthquake and fires, but with a little imagination, one can be transported back to the Barbary Coast (or belle époque, depending on one’s perspective), if only for a moment.Read more »

San Francisco Then And Now

On the 100th anniversary of the 1906 calamity, a student of earthquakes seeks its traces in the city he loves most.

The scale of the disaster is hard to comprehend. A government report listed 28,188 buildings destroyed. The official number of dead or missing was 674, though a reassessment years later put it closer to 3,000. People had fled in so many directions that it was impossible to get a reasonable estimate of the number of homeless, but most historians agree it was somewhere between 225,000 and 300,000.Read more »