Lotta Crabtree made fortunes as San Francisco's diminutive opera diva, and she never forgot the city that paid for her trademark cigars. In 1875 she donated this cast-metal spigot fountain (thrice her size) to San Francisco. Her gift came in handy during the April 18, 1906, earthquake and fire, when it became downtown's sole water source, as corrupt officials had pocketed funds intended to hook up fire hydrants. Descendants of earthquake survivors meet here each April 18 at 5:12am for rousing sing-alongs.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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1. 49 Geary

0.04 MILES

Pity the collectors silently nibbling endive in austere Chelsea galleries – at 49 Geary, First Thursday art openings mean unexpected art, popcorn and…

2. Palace Hotel

0.08 MILES

A true SF survivor, the Palace opened in 1875 but was gutted during the 1906 earthquake. Opera star Enrico Caruso was jolted from his Palace bed by the…

3. One Montgomery Terrace

0.09 MILES

For great Market St views of old and new SF, enter through Crocker Galleria, take the elevator to the top and then ascend the stairs, or enter Wells Fargo…

4. California Historical Society

0.13 MILES

Enter a Golden State of enlightenment at this Californiana treasure trove, featuring themed exhibitions drawn from the museum's million-plus California…

5. Contemporary Jewish Museum

0.13 MILES

That upended blue-steel box miraculously balancing on one corner atop the Contemporary Jewish Museum is appropriate for an institution that upends…

6. SPUR Urban Center Gallery

0.13 MILES

Cities are what you make of them, and urban-planning nonprofit SPUR invites you to reimagine San Francisco (and your own hometown) with gallery shows that…

7. Museum of the African Diaspora

0.14 MILES

MoAD assembles an international cast of characters to tell the epic story of diaspora, including a moving video of slave narratives told by Maya Angelou…

8. Frank Lloyd Wright Building

0.15 MILES

Shrink the Guggenheim, plop it inside a yellow-brick box with a round Romanesque entryway and put it where you'd least expect it: on a shady SF alley that…