1906: Phoenix Rising

Neighborhood: Civic Center


Nothing has changed the course of San Francisco’s history like the 1906 earthquake. One of the deadliest quakes in American history, the 7.9 magnitude rupture (and resulting fires) destroyed more than 80% of San Francisco and left tens of thousands without a home. The greatest city in the West — denigrated to rubble and smoke.

Despite the catastrophic loss of life and property, San Franciscans had no doubt the city would return larger and better — and soon. Psychologist William James, who arrived in the city that morning, was shocked at the persevering nature of the city in the face of such a setback.

“It was indeed a strange sight to see an entire population in the streets, busy as ants… Every horse, and everything on wheels in the city, from hucksters’ wagons to automobiles, was being loaded with what effects could be scraped together from houses which the advancing flames were threatening.”

Join us on a trip through the revival of San Francisco, a tale filled with dynamic leaders, superhuman work ethic, and a burning passion for the city. We’ll also explore the circumstances of the earthquake — and how cooking breakfast burned down an entire neighborhood. See where City Hall was destroyed, as well as what remains. Gain a deeper understanding of San Francisco’s rise from the ashes in the early 20th century.

Next Tours

    None scheduled in next 60 days


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    Tour Length: Approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours


    Meet on Franklin at Fulton in front of the iron gates

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    Please note: Private groups tours required for groups of 8 or more.