San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark #271: Bourdette Building

San Francisco Landmark #271: Bourdette Building 12 January 2020

San Francisco Landmark #271
Bourdette Building
90 Second Street

The Bourdette Building is a unique survivor of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. While South of Market was reduced to ashes, this two-story brick building was undamaged. Within the burned district, it was the only building to survive without anyone inside or outside fighting to save it. In the days following the disaster, crowds gathered in front of the building, astonished.

No comparable small-scale commercial buildings in downtown San Francisco survived the 1906 disaster, making the Bourdette Building the sole example of commercial construction in the downtown area prior to 1906.

The building was designed by master architects Bliss & Faville, one of the most respected and prolific architectural firms in early 20th century San Francisco.

Source: Adapted from San Francisco Landmark Designation Application for the Bourdette Building, 17 May 2016.

He stood and watched the fire until driven away by the soldiers. He saw the awning and sign in front of his establishment burn. Everything around the little building burned … but the little place stood firm, untouched by either of the great forces that laid waste the greater part of the city.

San Francisco Call, 18 June 1906

The Bourdette Building is just across Mission Street from the Second and Howard Streets Historic District.

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