One of the earliest pictures I’ve seen pf the east side California drop from Nob Hill; probably, in the 1870’s, looking down from Powell to Stockton Street. Old St. Mary’s can still just barely be seen today behind the red building in the center.
The premier thing to see on Nob Hill is the view from the Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel.
A 1940’s look at the Top of the Mark, I think from the Images of America series, explaining the origin of “Weeper’s Corner” on the northwestern side of the room where wives, lovers, mothers and sisters watched their loved ones sail away to combat theaters in the Pacific during World War Two, many who didn’t return. Bottom right is the view from “Weeper’s Corner” with fog obscuring the Golden Gate Bridge. Top right, two modern weepers in “Weeper’s Corner” today. Eh, they’re always whining about something!
This is a terrific vintage picture from ‘San Francisco: As it Is / As it Was by Paul Johnson and Richard Reinhardt. At the left is the doorway to A. N. Towne’s mansion destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake. The doorway is now the Portals of the Past site in Golden Gate Park. Two of today’s survivors from the disaster are the James Flood Mansion, now the Pacific Union Club, on the left, and the Fairmont Hotel at right.
The crest of Nob Hill from Grace Cathedral. I’ve always thought the top of Nob Hill to be one of the most peaceful spots in San Francisco. There’s a lot of interesting sites in this picture; far left is the Pacific Union Club, to the right of that, the Fairmont Hill. In the center is the Bank of America Building. On the right of the B of A Building is the Mark Hopkins Hotel with its Top of the Mark windows. Behind Christie is Huntington Park.
A scene from the 1964 movie ‘Good Neighbor Sam’ at the start of a wild car ride through San Francisco where Jack Lemmon tries to prevent his passenger from seeing billboard signs with his picture on them throughout the city. This is at California Street approaching Powell. The actress on the left side of the billboard is Romy Schneider who, sadly, died of a heart attack at 43. The most interesting thing about this scene to me is the. KSFO Radio Station sign. They, probably, had the prettiest station identification commercial. Click on the link here to hear it.
In ‘Good Neighbor Sam’ Jack Lemmon turns left onto Powell in his Thunderbird past an old Flying ‘A’ parking location that is still there, and goes back to the 1920’s when it was a service station.
The less famous western side of California Street on Nob Hill in a photograph by Phil Palmer from Harold Gilliam’s ‘The Face of San Francisco’: They sure ruined the view of Grace Cathedral at the top! Tourists line up at the Powell Street, California at Market Street, Bay and Taylor Streets, and Aquatic Park terminus for the cable cars, but this lonely one behind the Magic of Home sign at Van Ness doesn’t got much attention. Van Ness, at the bottom of the picture, was known as ‘Auto Row” and, maybe, still is for all of the car dealership locations that were there. You can see the Ellis Brooks Chevrolet at the lower right of the old photo.