In 1906, San Francisco was a thriving city of 400,000 residents, full of majestic Victorian mansions, beautiful hotels and a thriving arts scene. But the earthquake that hit on the early morning of April 18, 1906, changed everything — including how today's rebuilt city looks and works.
The earthquake destroyed many buildings and ruptured gas lines, igniting a three-day fire that ripped through the city. By the time it was all over, three-quarters of San Francisco's buildings were smoking piles of rubble. The author Jack London mourned, "Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone."
Arnold Genthe, who took the photo above, later described the eerie scene: “On the right is a house, the front of which had collapsed into the street. The occupants are sitting on chairs calmly watching the approach of the fire. Groups of people are standing in the street, motionless, gazing at the clouds of smoke. When the fire crept up close, they wouldRead More »from April 18, 1906: Earthquake, fire rip through San Francisco