Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

Nob Hill refers to a small district in San Francisco, California adjacent to the intersection of California and Powell streets (and the respective cable car lines).


The actual peak of Nob Hill lies slightly to the northwest in the area of Jones and Sacramento, Clay, and Washington Streets. South of Nob Hill is the shopping district of Union Square, the seedier area called the Tenderloin, and then Market Street. To the east is San Francisco's Chinatown and a little farther, the city's financial district. Northeast of Nob Hill is North Beach and Telegraph Hill. North of Nob Hill is Russian Hill, and eventually, the tourist-centered areas of the waterfront such as Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf.

History and significance

Nob Hill is an affluent district, home to many of the city's old money families. Sometimes it is sarcastically referred to as Snob Hill (in fact, "nob" was a 19th century slang term synonymous with "snob"). The area was settled in the rapid urbanization happening in the city in the late 19th century. Because of the views and its central position, it became an exclusive enclave of the rich and famous on the west coast who built large mansions in the neighborhood. This included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford and other members of The Big Four. The neighborhood was completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, except for the granite wall that had surrounded the Stanford and Hopkins mansions; the Huntington mansion was the only one of the hill's landmark palatial residences to survive, until it was demolished in the 1960s. The mansion of tycoon James Flood, though gutted by fire, was rebuilt and stands to this day as the headquarters of the Pacific-Union Club. While the neighborhood was able to maintain its affluence following the quake, many of the rich rebuilt their mansions further west in Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow. Many of the exclusive hotels now in the area were built over the ruins of the former mansions.

The intersection of California and Powell streets is also the home to the illustrious hotels in San Francisco: the Fairmont Hotel, the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, the Stanford Court, and the Huntington Hotel. Interestingly, they represent also three names out of the "The Big Four" (i.e. Stanford, Hopkins & Huntington).

Views from the top of the hill (and especially from the tower of the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel [a.k.a Top of the Mark] ) extend in all directions around the San Francisco Bay Area. The Pacific-Union Club is at the center of the neighborhood. The property that Grace Cathedral encompasses reaches the top of Nob Hill at its North Western point.

As such, Nob Hill is often a San Francisco set-piece scene used in many movies, especially if a high-speed chase is called for.

Movies featuring Nob Hill

* "The Rock"
* "Bullitt"
* "Vertigo"
* "Magnum Force"
* "The Wedding Planner"
* "Dirty Harry"
* "The Woman in Red"
* "Dying Young"
* "Under the Tuscan Sun"
* "Hulk"
* "Just Like Heaven"
* "Heart and Souls"
* "The Princess Diaries"
* "Full House (Television Series)"
* "Saint's Row (video game)"
* "Sabotage (song)"


ee also

* InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
* The Lambourne - Formerly the Nob Hill Lambourne Hotel*
* Russian Hill
* 49-Mile Scenic Drive
* List of San Francisco, California Hills
* "Nob Hill" is also a neighborhood in Albuquerque east of the University of New Mexico.

External links

* [ The Chronicle's standing article about Nob Hill]
* [ The Cable Car Museum site]

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