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The earthquake that shook San Francisco on April 18, 1906, is considered one of the worst natural disasters to affect a major city in the U.S. More than 80 percent of the city was destroyed by the tremors and subsequent fires.
The earthquake caused San Francisco's poorly constructed City Hall to collapse. Only the dome and its steel superstructure remained. It would take another 10 years until the new City Hall opened its doors.
This photograph, taken from a tethered balloon five weeks after the great earthquake of April 18, 1906, shows the devastation brought on the city of San Francisco by the quake and subsequent fire. The view is looking over Nob Hill toward the business district and the distant Mission.