San Francisco's Nob Hill (Images of America) (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)
More than a neighborhood, San Francisco's Nob Hill encapsulates some of the major elements of the city's history. Early European settlers' cattle grazed on the windy hill, and with the Gold Rush of 1849, it became a lookout point as ships arrived daily, bringing thousands to San Francisco. Within the next 40 years, the moguls of the Central Pacific Railroad, along with other magnates, built spectacular residences atop Nob Hill, which became a focal point of San Francisco. Today Nob Hill is home to elegant hotels, a cathedral, and a variety of residents. It remains a center of activity in a legendary city.
San Francisco's Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights (Images of America: California)
The prestige of Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights has long fascinated and awed San Francisco residents and visitors. The westward expansion of the city, followed by the addition of cable car lines, quickly transformed these once-barren outlands into gardens, schools, consulates, and homes, both extravagant and simple. Attracted to the stunning views and unique architecture, prominent and humble families alike have formed the fascinating role of Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights in San Francisco lore.
San Francisco's Ocean Beach (Images of America)
Where the waves of the Pacific Ocean wash up against the quiet neighborhoods of San Francisco, Ocean Beach has endured as a popular destination for tourists and San Francisco residents alike. At water's edge is the Cliff House restaurant where visitors can look down upon the remains of the Sutro Baths, a 19th-century indoor pool complex. Just south is the famous Golden Gate Park with its two stately windmills, followed by the well-loved San Francisco Zoo. But a century of change has altered the landscape and the attractions of Ocean Beach, making way for new developments and reflecting the evolution of the city of San Francisco itself.
Palace Hotel, The, CA (IMG) (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)
When it opened in 1875, the Palace Hotel was the largest and most luxurious hotel in the world, a perfect symbol of one of the most remarkable eras in San Francisco history. Built at a time when Nevada’s fabulously rich silver mines were pouring millions of dollars each month into San Francisco, it typified the color and grandiose extravagances of the whole bonanza period. After the original hotel was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, a successor Palace Hotel took its place and remains one of the most prestigious hotels in San Francisco today.
San Francisco's Financial District (Images of America)
Some call it Wall Street West, while some just call it downtown, but San Francisco's financial district is a long-running business powerhouse, home to scores of corporate headquarters, prominent law firms, restaurants, hotels, banks, the Pacific Stock Exchange, and striking waterfront views radiating outward from the landmark 1898 Ferry Building. The district was among the first areas to be settled, and many of the original 19th-century buildings still stand, along with streets and businesses named for early California business leaders like Mills, Sharon, Fair, and Flood. The district holds examples of nearly every type of commercial architecture and is arguably the city's most popular, as its population swells by tens of thousands of office workers each day.