Nob Hill revisited, 2023 (For Pouya)

Keeping with the theme of revisiting some of my favorite locations again for the first time in 2023, after hundreds of previous visits, I chugged up Nob Hill yesterday, or I should say, the cable car I took chugged up Nob Hill. (Thumbnail images)

Looking down California Street from Mason in 1963, based on the Marlon Brando film ‘The Ugly American playing at the Nob Hill Theater that used to be in the Fairmont Hotel: (San Francisco Public Library Archives)


Cable cars crossing California Street at Powell: You can see a little of the old Crest Garage, demolished in 2018 after surviving since the 1920s, on the right in the vintage photo. (San Francisco Public Library Archives)

Looking left to right at the Pacific Union Club, the Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, and Huntington Hotels, from Grace Cathedral with the Bank of America Building butting into the background of the modern picture. (

The Mark Hopkins Mansion on the corner of California and Mason Streets: Does anybody ever need a house that big? The mansion was destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. (

This was the western entrance to the Mark Hopkins mansion, or the western entrance to the west wing of the Hopkins mansion, or the western entrance to the west side of the west wing of the mansion. I’ll bet even Mark got confused. This is looking south down Mason Street from California, or looking south past the western entrance of the west wing of….. Oh, never mind. (San Francisco Public Library Archives)


Billy Preston going into the Mark Hopkins Hotel in the 1970s: I watched the Beatles ‘Get Back’ trilogy recently, in which Billy Preston appears in. At first, I thought how honored he must have felt to be performing with the Beatles, but after watching his keyboard sessions, I also thought about how honored the Beatles must have felt to have him join them. (San Francisco Public Library Archives)







One thought on “Nob Hill revisited, 2023 (For Pouya)

  • If the house had not been so big, there would have been more space for a larger conservatory, rather than confining to to the western entrance, . . . or whatever that was.

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