San Francisco, Califonia
"An earthquake is such fun when it's over"
This is Lotta's Fountain, and it is located where Market, Geary and Kearney streets meet in San Francisco, but it's original placement was at 3rd, Market and Kearny streets. Lotta's Fountain was dedicated to the people of San Francisco by Lotta Crabtree, who was considered the "IT' girl of her day! She was an actress, comedienne and philanthropist, and she loved San Francisco. In fact, the love between San Francisco and Lotta was mutual and the city celebrated her as their very own star! After her retirement from the arts, Lotta made a final appearance on stage in 1915, at the Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, for Lotta Crabtree Day!
Over the years Lotta's Fountain has come to mean more to San Francisco than a piece of amazing pubic art, indeed it became the meeting place for displaced individuals and families after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Notes and pictures were placed on the fountain, in an effort to locate missing relatives and friends. As sad and desperate as that seems, many folks were reunited so Lotta's Fountain became a place of comfort for weary San Franciscans. The fountain also served as a happy meeting place, when Luisa Tetrazzini sang for the people of San Francisco on December 24th, 1910.
Each year on April 18th, at 5:13 a.m., people gather, including some original survivors of the earthquake of 1906, and revisit Lotta's Fountain in remembrance of that day, and the quake that moved and shaped the city of San Francisco. As of this past April, there were only two survivors remaining, and both declined to visit the memorial, opting instead for sleeping in! Good idea! And while completely understandable, I think it would like to attend the ceremony one year. Who knows... maybe next year! If nothing else, the recent Napa quake reminds me yet again... take nothing... nothing for granted!
National Register Of Historic Places - #75000475