Before 1906, Sanborn maps showed numerous stables in North Beach. At the time of the earthquake, automobiles were new and generally owned by people in wealthier neighborhoods than North Beach, so there were few, if any garages before that time. In the rapid reconstruction of North Beach beginning in July 1906, many stables and very few garages were built. Stables were implicated in the plague epidemic in 1907 and were pointed out for criticism by housing reformers. In particular, wood structures that included stables on the ground floor and living quarters above were criticized as unsanitary and dangerous. As a consequence, many stables were removed from North Beach within a few years after they were built. The largest stable in North Beach at that time was a two-story brick structure with a clinker brick facade at 721 Filbert Street, called the Hildebrand Stables, still standing.