Peter Bacigalupi and his workers were quite fortunate to have escaped the Great Fire because they were at the precise spot where the South-of-Market fires converged with the blaze spreading from the San Francisco Gas and Electric plant.
The electrical plant fire was responsible for the destruction of the Call Building at Third and Market streets, the Palace Hotel at Market and New Montgomery streets, as well as St. Patricks Church and the Opera House on Mission street, where Enrico Caruso had performed Carmen the night before.
The small alley to which Mr. Bacigalupi referred is Minna Street, which ran between Third and Fourth in the block bounded by Mission and Howard streets. Yerba Buena Gardens now covers this block.
Given the fire conditions in the area, it is more than reasonable to assume Mr. Bacigalupi escaped by going up Fourth Street from Mission to Market, and then east on Market to the Phelan Building.
The visitor today can retrace Mr. Bacigalupis steps because many of the landmarks from his journey have been rebuilt or are still there.
The site of Mr. Bacigalupis 786 Mission Street building is directly across from the motor entrance of the Jukebox Marriott on Mission at Fourth Street. From the Bacigalupi site, to the right, can be seen St. Patricks Church, and behind it the rebuilt SFG&E building.
Addresses on the north side of Market Street were renumbered after the earthquake, and the rebuilt Phelan Building now carries the address of 760 Market Street. The remodelled Call Building, now Central Towers, is at 701 Market at Third, and the rebuilt Palace Hotel remains at Market and New Montgomery streets. The Opera House site on Mission Street was, in 2000, a parking lot.