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4 California & Grant

California & Grant

California & Grant
We're standing here on the corner of California, with its famous cable car line, and Grant Avenue, where we have this fantastic view down on the Chinese buildings here. Until the Great Earthquake of 1906 these buildings wouldn't have looked Chinese at all. They would have looked pretty much like any other building in San Francisco. When they decided to rebuild Chinatown after the 1906 earthquake, there was a rumor gone out that the city authorities were planning to move the Chinese population to another part of the city, a bit more remote part. Of course, the Chinese people didn't want that. So one Chinese businessman had a really good idea. He decided, Well why don't we rebuild Chinatown and make it look super Chinese so that the Americans would and it would become a big tourist attraction, and then it would be hard to move the Chinese population. Of course, that's exactly what they did. It was a huge success. If you walk through Chinatown today, and you think it looks a bit touristy, well that was exactly the intention. On either side of California here we can see buildings that are topped off with pagodas. That's something you will not see back in China because pagodas ar normally used just to mark Buddhist relics or tombs, never on top of buildings. But when they were rebuilding Chinatown following the earthquake and trying to make it a little bit more touristy for the white Americans, they knew that pagodas were already very recognized by white Americans as being a very Chinese thing. So they started using them everywhere, on top of buildings, and even in the street lamps.
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Stockton Street Tunnel

4 Stockton Street Tunnel

Stockton Street Tunnel

Old Saint Mary's Cathedral

Old Saint Mary's Cathedral

Old Saint Mary's Cathedral

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