Lotta’s Fountain, an iconic and historical landmark in San Francisco, stands at the intersection of Market Street, Geary Street, and Kearny Street. This 24-foot tall iron fountain was gifted to the city in 1875 by Lotta Crabtree, a famous actress of the era, as a token of her affection for San Francisco.
But Lotta’s Fountain isn’t just a regular city fountain; it has a special place in San Francisco’s heart, particularly because of its role after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. In the chaos following the disaster, the fountain became a central meeting point where people would post messages and search for loved ones. It symbolized hope and resilience in the face of adversity.
Every year on April 18th, the city commemorates the earthquake at Lotta’s Fountain, with survivors (in earlier years), city officials, and residents gathering around the fountain in the early morning hours. This annual event is a poignant reminder of the city’s history and community spirit.
Architecturally, the fountain is a beautiful example of the ornate Victorian style, a reminder of San Francisco’s rich and diverse history. Despite its age, it has been well-maintained and stands as a proud relic of the past amidst the modern hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco.
For visitors, Lotta’s Fountain is more than just a historical site; it’s a piece of San Francisco’s soul. It’s a great starting point for exploring the downtown area, including the nearby historic Financial District and Union Square. The fountain’s significance and the stories it holds make it a must-see for anyone wanting to delve deeper into the city’s past and understand its indomitable spirit.