Transit fun fact: Fillmore Street developed as a commercial zone because of the 1906 quake.

California car at Fillmore. Building housed saloon and billiard parlor.
(Photo Credit)

Here’s another cool factoid from the amazing (out-of-print) book on the history of the San Francisco Municipal Railway.

We know Upper Fillmore Street today as a bustling commercial district with high-end shops and restaurants married closely with its residential community. This is a direct result of the great 1906 earthquake.

After the quake, the Fillmore Street cable car line was the first line restored to service. The downtown shopping district was still buried in rubble, helping Fillmore Street become the temporary retail and civic epicenter of the City.

This page on the history of Japantown describes how “old mansions served as department stores, and churches and synagogues doubled as courthouses.” The Muni book didn’t go into as much detail, but the Japantown page also described the transition of Upper Fillmore Street to evolve into what we now refer to as Japantown.

I think it’s easy to forget how strongly transit can shape our City.

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