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San Francisco in the 1930sThe WPA Guide to the City by the Bay$
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Federal Writers Project of the Works Project Administration

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520268807

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520268807.001.0001

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Lords of the Hilltops

Lords of the Hilltops

(p.252) Lords of the Hilltops
San Francisco in the 1930s

David Kipen

University of California Press

Whenever the builders of San Francisco could not go forward, they went up. The City of San Francisco had leaped that crescent-shaped barrier of hills which swings from Telegraph Hill on the northeast to Twin Peaks in the middle of the Peninsula. Persistently the long files of houses climbed to the crests and down the other side. Where the heights defied scaling even by the cable car, the city's uphill progress was facilitated by steps. No San Franciscan was amazed to behold even that doughty railroad builder, Collis P. Huntington, being towed uphill to his mansion by the California Street grip. The pinnacle to which a man's rise in riches might carry him had a name in those days—Nob Hill, inspired by those “nabobs” of commerce and finance who looked down from its crest.

Keywords:   San Francisco, Telegraph Hill, Twin Peaks, Collis P. Huntington, Nob Hill, nabobs, commerce, finance, crest

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