San Francisco: 1906 vs. 1907, 1908 and 1909

Was somewhat bewildered by this 2 and 3 year San Francisco metamorphosis. If you remember, this unfortunate event happened on 04/18/1906, and below are the consequences.
SF: April 1906 - larger image

SF in 1 Year: 1907
San Francisco rising from ruins, April 18, 1907. View southeast from Nob Hill showing reconstruction progress. With ruins of Towne home ("Portals of the Past") in foreground.

1907 SF achievements can be seen here: Link
  • Unbelievable. How many years did it take us to restore New Orleans after Katrina?
SF in 2 Years: May 1908 - larger image

SF in 3 Years: April 1909 - larger image

New 1909 San Francisco
  • The New San Francisco album contains 24 mounted prints taken by Edward N. Sewell in 1909 representing the state of recovery of San Francisco three years after the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906 which destroyed much of the city. The album primarily features scenes of the city's financial district, mostly along Market Street and its cross streets. Buildings pictured include the Phelan Building, the Crocker Building, First National Bank, the Palace Hotel, the Chronicle Building, the Monadnock Building, Mutual Bank, the Aronson Building, the Call Building, the Roos Brothers Building, Humboldt Bank, the Flood Building, the Emporium, the Westbank Building, the Fyfe Building, the White House, the City of Paris, the Bank of California, and the Hotel St. Francis. The album also includes a view from the top of the Ferry Building westward, showing the overall development of the portion of the city most damaged by the 1906 disaster.

KD: As far as I understand, 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909 conditions of San Francisco are officially dated. Hard to believe TPTB could lay an egg like this. Yet, it’s right here in our face. What kind of infrastructure did they have back then?

Considering that I probably do not comprehend things like I used to: Is this a normal "rebuild" speed?
I believe the video below is related. Makes one wonder how a video like that gets lost.

Additionally, I would like to know who cleaned up all the streets from the debris. I do not think I have ever seen a photograph where adequately street clearing efforts were present. It’s like all the streets are always debris free, no matter which post-fire or earthquake city we look at.


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I have seen the whole video and noticed a few things.
At 11:50 min (and briefly at 3:06 min) the pavement seems to be at 1st floor level. Means the building collapsed below street level?
Everyone wearing a hat.
People in tents, people on the move with their belongings, people queuing, but they all seem well dressed, and well behaved.

After an earthquake I don't expect this:
Wooden poles and trees and beautiful lampposts still standing straight and some buildings in seemingly good shape, yet the all around it everything collapsed completely.
Some building that are still (partly) standing are completely see-through.
Trams operating, there is roads and tracks repair work being done. I have not spotted cracks in the streets which i would expect after an earthquake.

There is debris in the streets in this video, and people cleaning it up. But the amount of debris seems too little. As if it all collapsed vertically. Nothing tipped over.
Levels of devastation are ridiculous. Streets are cleared out.

Urban fires with random quakes followed by enthusiastic rebuilding activities are so hard to crack.

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