San Francisco was founded in 1776 as a Spanish fort and mission. When gold was discovered in California in 1849, the city's population exploded from 1,000 people to 25,000 in a single year.
In 1906, a massive earthquake and fire destroyed 75% of the city. Several years of massive rebuilding followed. Just 9 years later, in 1915, the city announced its recovery with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
San Francisco is famous for its Victorian homes, but it is also filled with Beaux-Arts and City Beautiful civic buildings, Art Deco apartment houses, and impressive modern skyscrapers.