On October 17, 1989, during game 3 of the World Series a 6.9 earthquake hit. Centered near Santa Cruz it caused extensive damage all over the Bay Area. Roadways in particular were hard hit with collapses on the Bay Bridge and in Oakland. In San Francisco the damage was the worst on the filled areas of the bay including the Embarcadero and Marina.
Although there were massive power outages, in typical San Francisco fashion there are legions of stories of people coming together to help one another and a certain amount of party atmosphere as neighborhood business closed down giving away perishable foodstuffs and cooking outdoors and eating by candle light. We always seem to want to take advantage of any excuse to party in the streets!
In the aftermath of the quake that killed over 60 people The City took the opportunity to remove the freeways that marred the landscape. Out of that rose a newly vibrant waterfront along the Embarcadero. It would take several more years before the full extent of this change was realized.