Then and Now
The Palace Hotel

Above, Market Street at Geary in the 1880s.  The imposing building (center) is the original Palace Hotel which, when it opened in 1875, was promoted as one of the finest hotels in the world.  It survived with minor structural damage the early morning earthquake of April 18 1906 but was consumed by fire later that afternoon, as were all other buildings seen here.  In those days cable cars were not limited to Powell Street and Fisherman's Wharf but ran along several major streets in San Francisco.  Lotta's Fountain survived the quake and the fire, and today can be seen at the same location (below).

This fountain was given to the city in 1875 by a popular singer and actress, Lotta Crabtree (1847-1924).  Each year, early on the morning of April 18, survivors of the 1906 quake and fire gather at the fountain accompanied by several dozen other San Franciscans to mark the anniversary of that catastrophic event.

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