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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Vacancy: 1906

Vacancy: 1906

1906. "Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, amid ruins of earthquake and fire." The hotel, near completion when disaster struck, opened the following year. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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The place to go after the Junior/Senior Prom

The Fairmont had a cocktail lounge called The Tonga Room which was one on the few places in town where we teen aged kids could take our dates and listen to some music and enjoy a non-alcoholic "cocktail." This 1961 picture is of a "Senior Ball" double date during my senior year in high school. My sister and I are the inside couple, with our respective dates (on the outside). The Swig family were the owners of the hotel in those days.


Below is the same view from September of 2009. Trees and buildings now obsure most of the Fairmont from this perspective.

Shaking the past

Fantastic photograph! My jaw dropped! I take the #1 California bus in San Francisco several times a week, which drives right by the Fairmont. Wow. Photographs as time machines, definitely. Must have been solidly built.

And today

The flagship and namesake of the Fairmont chain of hotels. Although the company is now based in Canada.

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Great picture

I've seen lots of post-earthquake photos (even this one, I think), but I didn't realize that some were taken by DPC. It's amazing how little smoke staining there is on the exterior. Also, many of the windows on the lower floors are still intact.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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