The 1906 earthquake had devastating consequences for the California Academy of Sciences. Immediately following the earthquake, dedicated staff members were able to rush to the Academy before the fire arrived and saved one carload of precious specimens and books, however, the majority of the specimen collection and library that took 50 years to collect was completely destroyed.
The Academy made a final move to the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park in 1916. The museum in Golden Gate Park expanded through decades of renovations and additions including the Steinhart Aquarium in 1923, the Alexander F. Morrison Planetarium in 1952 and Cowell Hall in 1969. Due to long-term wear and tear caused by over 100 million visitors and damage caused by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the first Golden Gate Park building was closed in early 2004 to make way for the new Renzo Piano designed Academy of Sciences building.
The façade of the 1916 building was incorporated in the new design of the building and can be seen flanking the main entrance. The California Academy of Sciences has a rich history of education and technology and the current building is no exception.
The California Academy of Sciences
before Golden Gate Park
The California Academy of Sciences has been associated with Golden Gate
Park for many years, but has actually been housed in more than four locations. The Academy of Sciences started with humble beginnings; the first building was founded in Lewis W. Sloat's office at 129 Montgomery St. in San Francisco. Lewis W. Sloat and Andrew Randall wrote the constitution for the Academy on April 4, 1853.
When the Academy outgrew Sloat's office, the first museum was opened in 1871 in the First Congregational Church on the corner of California and Grant (then named Dupont). In 1890, it became apparent that the Academy was outgrowing their facilties once again and proceeded to move to 819 Market St. in San Francisco.