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Amidst the physical destruction to the Stanford campus from the 1906 earthquake rose the resolve of the young university to rebuild. Though far from the total “Destruction of Great Stanford University” that was reported in the newspapers of the day, Stanford's buildings did suffer tremendous damage. While most buildings of the inner Quad survived, Memorial Church was almost completed destroyed as were the newly built Library and Gymnasium. On the day of the earthquake, President David Starr Jordan remarked, “For the past seven years Stanford has been completing the magnificent group of buildings as planned by the founders… There is now nothing to do but to do but to go over it again… Our great ambitions for Stanford as a University may rest a while, until we can save the money for building again and until our own alumni are old enough and rich enough to come to our rescue.”

It took many years to recover from the earthquake, and some buildings including the Library, Gymnasium, and Memorial Arch were never rebuilt. But over time the Stanford University recovered, and many would argue that the campus architecture improved with the rebuilding. Moreover, the earthquake experience spawned a new resolve and identity for the young university. It is no coincidence that Stanford became a leader in geophysics, seismology, and earthquake engineering research; and is an institutional model for proactive programs in earthquake hazard mitigation and emergency preparedness.

Following is an online version of the tour - just click on a stop number to view that site. If you're planning on visiting Stanford and would like to go on the physical tour, you can find directions, parking information, a downloadable tour map, and suggestions for additional activities available on campus by going to About the Commemoration.