After the quake, Fillmore boomed

June 1906. Fillmore & Sutter looking north.

Fillmore Street quickly became “the new Market Street” after the earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906, which devastated most of downtown San Francisco. Businesses had to find temporary locations elsewhere, and Fillmore Street was largely untouched by the catastrophe. Businesses crowded into existing buildings, sharing whatever quarters they could find. This photograph, taken two months after the earthquake in June 1906 — exactly 100 years ago — shows Fillmore Street looking north from Sutter.

The San Francisco Chronicle opened its temporary office (right) on April 22 while the last embers of the fire were still smoldering. Real estate agents, jewelers, banks, insurance agents, typewriters (typists) and other businesses soon followed. Their temporary signs dominated the street. The Relay tobacco and liquor store on the corner undoubtedly experienced increased business.

— Robert Oaks, author of San Francisco’s Fillmore District (Arcadia, 2005)


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