At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, San Franciscans woke up to a quick shake. For the next 20-25 seconds, everything was silent. And then the great earthquake broke loose. Buildings fell, the city’s downtown crumbled and broken gas lines burst into flame. The city burned for three days and over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed.
Now, more than 100 years later, photographer Shawn Clover decided to combine the photos taken right after the 1906 earthquake with the modern-day San Fransisco.
He tried to find the exact spot the photographer stood, the equivalent focal length and the same high off the ground where the camera was. Unfortunately, he found that it was impossible to replicate many of the original photos because they were taken in places where new buildings stand today.
Nevertheless, Shawn created a striking series of composite photographs, entitled “1906 + 2010: The Earthquake Blend”. Here are some of our favorite photos.
A women opens the door to her Mercedes on Sacramento Street while horses killed by falling rubble lie in the street.
Pedestrians cross Jones St towards a pile of rubble on Market Street. The Hibernia Bank building is burned out, but still standing strong.
Two girls stand before the partially destroyed Sharon Building in Golden Gate Park while students work on their art projects inside.
A cable car heads towards the California St incline while shocked residents walk aimlessly through street amidst the devastation.
Passing cable cars offer a view of the destruction of California Street. Old St. Marys Cathedral has escaped destruction.
Cable car #455 rests halfway in the partially-destroyed cable car barn.
People walk up California St amid charred scraps of lumber.
People stroll by the original adobe Mission Dolores which survived, while the brick church next door was destroyed.
Horse carriages and cars park in front of Lafayette Park while a destroyed city looms in the background.
A bicyclist rides towards the fallen Valencia St. Hotel and a huge sinkhole that has opened up in the street.
A woman walks dangerously close to a pit of rubble on 5th St by the US Mint. The Mint has done a remarkable job surviving the quake.
Cars park in front of the brand new US Courthouse which faired well in the quake.