Incredible Then And Now Photos Of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Merged Together In Single Frame

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed over 80% of the city’s infrastructure and 28,000 buildings. Over 3,000 people died in this devastating disaster, and 250,000 people were rendered homeless. Buildings swayed crazily, and their facades collapsed, draft horses galloped in blind terror and brick walls tumbled into the street, raising acrid clouds of choking dust.

Despite this devastating destruction caused by the earthquake and firestorm, San Francisco recovered quickly and effectively. The destruction actually allowed the architects and planners to rebuild a new and improved city.

These stunning then and now photos perfectly depict the destruction and recovery of the places destroyed in an earthquake, created by blending images of destruction with the normal present-day life by Shawn Clover. The technique is a clever way to visualize the past and present it as one. Also, check cities during and after WWII.

#1 The 5:15 A.M. train for San Francisco topples in Point Reyes Station.

#3 The great Swiss geologist Louis Agassiz decided to dive down to get a look at what was going on inside the earth.

#4 The Stanford Memorial Church was wrecked with a fallen spire, cracked walls, and destroyed mosaics.

#7 The Painted Ladies have escaped fire raging down the street. Mothers rest on the low wall in Alamo Square while their children play on the grass.

#8 People walk beneath Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral, which survived the quake but was gutted by the fire

#9 Happy tourists pass by the Fairmont Hotel, which still stands, but is destroyed inside from the fires.

#10 Passing cable cars offer a view of the destruction of California Street. Old St. Marys Cathedral has escaped destruction.

#11 California St below Powell St and the Fairmont Hotel.

#12 People walk up California St amid charred scraps of lumber

#13 Streetcars make their way through cleared rubble while vendors sell handcrafts at the foot of Market Street.

#14 The Conservatory of Flowers stands undamaged as now-homeless citizens camp in a tent shelter

#15 A woman opens the door to her Mercedes on Sacramento Street while horses killed by falling rubble lie in the street.

#17 Shoppers cross Drumm St on Market St while men busily work at the monumental task of rebuilding a destroyed city.

#19 Some business people and a young kid face the camera while fire consumes a building on the corner of Franklin St and Hayes St.

#20 Residents take to the grass at Lafayette Park to get a view of the massive fires engulfing the city while a Muni bus stops below.

#21 People mill around Lotta’s Fountain, which served as a meeting place after the quake

#22 Two girls stand before the partially destroyed Sharon Building in Golden Gate Park while students work on their art projects inside.

#23 Pedestrians cross Jones St towards a pile of rubble on Market Street. The Hibernia Bank building is burned out, but still standing strong.

#25 People stroll by the original adobe Mission Dolores which survived, while the brick church next door was destroyed

#28 A bicyclist rides towards the fallen Valencia St. Hotel and a huge sinkhole that has opened up in the street

#29 Cars travel down S. Van Ness, which has buckled after the quake.

#30 Shocked residents walk by parked cars on California St amidst the devastation.

#31 Horse carriages and cars park in front of Lafayette Park while a destroyed city looms in the background

#32 The US Mint stands like a rock in a sea of flames as employees and soldiers fight flames on the roof.

#33 The DeYoung Building and the Palace Hotel (panorama).

#34 Cars park in front of the brand new US Courthouse which fared well in the quake.

#37 Cable car #455 rests halfway in the partially-detroyed cable car barn.

#38 The Ferry Building withstood its test surprisingly well, considering the treacherous land it sits on.

#40 The Rialto Building on New Montgomery stands tall amid the destruction.

#41 Some lumber and barrels stuffed in a sinkhole warm pedestrians and carrianges of the hazzard on 18th and Van Ness.

#42 7th and Mission, where streetcars have recently been put back into service on Mission St and the main post office continues cleanup work.

#50 The Saint Francis Hotel from Union Square (panorama).

#52 California and Grant. Singfat is quick to reopen, if even just a temporary stand on top of the rubble so they could reclaim their territory.

#54 A lost dog watches a military unit from the US Navy’s cutter Bear assemble for duty at Bush Street and Jones Street while a woman goes about her day.

#56 Spectators fill O’Farrell Street to watch the billowing smoke inch closer towards the Call Building.

#57 First business back on Market St. Hughson & Merton manufactured bicycles & buggies also became known as world’s first Ford dealer.

#58 A Muni bus heads for a giant sinkhole on Van Ness below Vallejo while workers clear up debris from the damaged St. Brigid Church.

#61 The Mission Relief Headquarters at 25th and Guerrero after its daily food distribution.

#62 Pedestrians cross Jones St towards a pile of rubble on Market Street. The Hibernia Bank building is burned out, but still standing strong.

#64 Streetcar #953 passes #1815 on Market Street with the Flood Building still standing after surviving raging fire on all sides.

#67 Kearny St. with the Sentinel Building under construction.

#70 Nothing but the steel trucks of the cable cars remain after intense fires burned through California St. between Polk St. and Larkin St.

#72 Two men gaze curiously over the fence at the salvaged furniture strewn around the yard of the James Flood Mansion.

#73 Employees returned to the Shreve Building to pick up the pieces while photographer Richard Wigham photographs the charred remains of a human corpse in the intersection of Post and Grant.

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Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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