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Lotta's Fountain

Coordinates: 37°47′17″N 122°24′13″W / 37.78806°N 122.40361°W / 37.78806; -122.40361
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Lotta Crabtree Fountain
Lotta's Fountain is located in San Francisco County
Lotta's Fountain
Lotta's Fountain is located in California
Lotta's Fountain
Lotta's Fountain is located in the United States
Lotta's Fountain
LocationMarket, Geary, and Kearny Sts., San Francisco, California
Coordinates37°47′17″N 122°24′13″W / 37.78806°N 122.40361°W / 37.78806; -122.40361
Area0.1 acres (0.040 ha)
NRHP reference No.75000475[1]
SFDL No.73
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 20, 1975
Designated SFDL1975[2]

Lotta's fountain is a fountain at the intersection of Market Street, where Geary and Kearny Streets connect in downtown San Francisco, California. It was commissioned by actress Lotta Crabtree in 1875 as a gift to the city of San Francisco, and would serve as a significant meeting point in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.


Lotta's Fountain in 1905, looking northeast along Market Street; the Palace Hotel is at right and the Ferry Building's clock tower is in the distance

The cast-iron fountain, commissioned by actress Lotta Crabtree as a gift to the city, was dedicated September 9, 1875.[3] During its centennial it was designated both a San Francisco Designated Landmarks and the U.S. National Historic Places.

A plaque commemorates its role as a meeting point in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Another plaque mentions the opera soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, who gave a memorable performance for the people of San Francisco at the fountain on Christmas Eve, 1910, after legal difficulties prevented her from appearing on stage.[4] The bronze column was added in 1916 to match the height of new lights being installed along Market Street.[citation needed]

In 1974 it was relocated slightly from its original location at 3rd, Market and Kearny during the renovation of Market Street and brought into alignment with the "Path of Gold" streetlamps.[citation needed] In 1999 the fountain was refurbished, shortened back to its 1875 appearance, and repainted a metallic gold-brown. Its lion's-head spigots flow during daytime hours.[citation needed]

In 1919, a commemoration of the earthquake was started that still occurs annually. The South of Market Boys, a fraternal drinking organization, hung a wreath on the fountain. Since then, survivors of the earthquake gathered at 5:12 a.m. on April 18 at the intersection. After the 2015 anniversary, the last two survivors of the earthquake died. In 2016, more than 200 participants, many in period costuming, gathered to commemorate victims of the earthquake and to draw attention to earthquake preparedness.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "City of San Francisco Designated Landmarks". City of San Francisco. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  3. ^ "Lotta's Fountain, (sculpture)". Save Outdoor Sculpture, California, San Francisco survey. 1994. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  4. ^ Nolte, Carl (December 24, 2010). "Luisa Tetrazzini's gift ends S.F. era on high note". San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ Fimrite, Peter (January 12, 2016). "1906 S.F. earthquake's last known survivor dies at 109". SFGATE.
  6. ^ "Last Known Survivor Of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Has Died". NPR.org.


  • O'Brien, Robert This is San Francisco Chronicle Books 1994, reprint from 1948

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