The Big Pier 37 Fire.
When Warren Simmons signed the Development Agreement on September 10, 1975, part of the negotiations included the salvage rights to Pier 37, which was scheduled for demolition. Pier 39 planned to use all the weathered wharf planks and siding to give a nautical effect to the outside of the shops and restaurants.
A few evenings later,
Simmons was strolling down
Pier 37 when he saw a Port
tenant working on scrap iron
with an acetylene torch.
Concerned about his investment, Simmons asked the
Port staff if they could guarantee there was no fire
hazard. They assured him
it was safe.
On September 21, 1975, only eleven days after the Development Agreement was signed, Pier 37 was decimated with the biggest fire the San Francisco waterfront has ever seen.
A five-alarmer in the early morning, the fire quickly eliminated Pier 37 and, according to informed sources, if it wasn't for a very rare southern breeze that morning, the flames might have spread out of control into Telegraph Hill.
As for the wood, Simmons told the Port he didn't think a charbroiled effect would go over well in his
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is September 21, 1975.
Location. 37° 48.641′ N, 122° 24.66′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. It is in Fisherman's Wharf. Marker can be reached from Pier 39 north of The Embarcadero. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94133, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The $25 Reward That Cost $2,416,825. (a few steps from this marker); Deep Pockets - But Not Deep Enough. (within shouting distance of this marker); Kids for Hire. (within shouting distance of this marker); Pier 39 Obsolete for Shipping? (within shouting distance of this marker); San Francisco's Most Popular Postcard. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Rare Moment of Cooperation (about 400 feet away); Our Legal Hassles. (about 500 feet away); The Eagle Cafe Moves Up to Pier 39. (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. The marker is located in Pier 39, on the upper level, all the way "back" (or north), in the passageway between the Sea Lion Center and the upper central or interior portion of the pier.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 25, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 281 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 25, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.