Sin, Fire & Gold! The Days of San Francisco's Barbary Coast
Sin, Fire & Gold! The Days of San Francisco's Barbary Coast Previous Broadcasts
KQED Plus: Sun, Nov 17, 2013 -- 1:30 PM
Since its beginnings, San Francisco has been home to an eclectic array of characters drawn not only to the city's spectacularly beautiful surroundings but also to the vibrant spirit of independence the area seems to foster. KQED's documentary celebrates the people, places and events which have shaped the city over the years. San Francisco can boast not only of physical beauty, but also a history replete with swashbuckling drama and Gold Rush fever. Largely forgotten, much of this history seems to have been buried with the rubble of the great 1906 earthquake. Host Greg Sherwood joins tour guide and historian Daniel Bacon in sifting through the present to uncover some of San Francisco's fascinating past.
Viewers join them for a leisurely walk along the city's original waterfront - the Barbary Coast - and discover the last remaining pocket of original buildings in the area which miraculously survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. The tour points out where Gold Rush ships still lie buried beneath the towering skyscrapers of the Financial District, and viewers learn why the Ferry building faces a particular sleepy side street as well as the logical main avenue of Market Street. At times, the tour takes viewers inside some of the buildings along the way to enjoy unique interior designs and significant architectural elements, including the Old Mint, a spectacular national landmark seldom seen by the general public. It also highlights some of the area's more colorful characters, such as famed Gold Rush era performer Lotta Crabtree.