Secret San Francisco
Today, Ashbury Heights is home to pricey real estate and great views, but the top of Mount Olympus wasn't always so residential. Considered the geographical heart of San Francisco, the hill was once home to a massive statue titled "Triumph of Light" from 1887 to the late 1950s.
Although it's hard to imagine these days, the sleepy, quiet Presidio was once a bustling center of military activity. Officially opened in 1848, in WWII it acted as the defense headquarters for the Western US, and was the longest operated military base when it was decommissioned in 1995. The Presidio was also home to thousands of families who left their own special mark on the base's three square miles.
East Bay residents, just imagine getting from anywhere in Oakland, Berkeley or Alameda via an environmentally friendly electric railway to anywhere else in the East Bay or SF in 30 minutes or less, even in rush hour.
When a massive earthquake struck San Francisco on April 18, 1906, the city was rocked by a 42 second blast, followed by aftershocks. Although the earthquake was strong, it is estimated that 90% of the damage to the city was caused by 30 massive fires that erupted from ruptured gas lines moments after the initial quake. Unfortunately along with broken gas lines were broken water mains, which meant firefighters were dealing with a serious shortage of water to combat the, literally, burning city.
Ultimately 80% of the city was destroyed and over 3,000 people lost their lives. But among the tragic stories there is one especially heartwarming tale - the legend of the Golden Hydrant.