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In April 19o6, San Francisco reigned as the West Coast's metropolis. From the time of the Gold Rush, its banks, corporations and stock exchange had dominated the region's economy. The Palace was the premier hotel, although it faced challenges from the St. Francis and the soon to be opened Fairmont. San Franciscans enjoyed renowned restaurants and saloons. Galleries exhibited the best art the moneyed elite could buy. Theaters featured top talent, including, John Barrymore, starring in a play on the 18th. And the opera house attracted the likes of famed tenor Enrico Caruso, also in town for a performance. But on April 18, few would remember the acting of "the Great Profile" or the singing of Caruso.
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Panarama of San Francisco, San Francisco during the Gold Rush had already become a major city.

San Francisco during the Gold Rush had already become a major city.

Market Street, San Francisco's downtown bustles with activity prior to 1906.

San Francisco's downtown bustles with activity prior to 1906.

Cable Street-Cars, San Francisco's hilly terrain and rapid urbanization led to the development of a cable car system of public transport beginning in the 1870s.

San Francisco's hilly terrain and rapid urbanization led to the development of a cable car system of public transport beginning in the 1870s.

With its cornerstone laid in 1864, Temple Emanu El was an architectural landmark in San Francisco, as well as a center for the city's German and Central European Jewish population.

With its cornerstone laid in 1864, Temple Emanu El was an architectural landmark in San Francisco, as well as a center for the city's German and Central European Jewish population.

San Francisco prior to the turn of the twentieth century. The Palace Hotel hosted celebrities and wellheeled travelers from around the world. The density of wooden houses and other buildings would make stopping the post-quake fires difficult.

San Francisco prior to the turn of the twentieth century. The Palace Hotel hosted celebrities and wellheeled travelers from around the world. The density of wooden houses and other buildings would make stopping the post-quake fires difficult.

Chinatown before its destruction by the earthquake and fire. Many San Franciscans did not want it to return, but it was rebuilt and became one of the city's principal tourist attractions.

Chinatown before its destruction by the earthquake and fire. Many San Franciscans did not want it to return, but it was rebuilt and became one of the city's principal tourist attractions.



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