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A Carefully Plotted, Totally Stalky Map of Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'

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Considering the many movies shot in San Francisco—hey there, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Rock, and the rest of you—we have to hand it to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo for truly getting around San Francisco and showing off the city. As the troubled (and supposedly possessed) Madeleine (played by Kim Novak) follows her great-grandmother Carlotta's ghost around San Francisco, we're treated to a midcentury tour of the city through the voyeuristic gaze of Jimmy Stewart's Scottie. So what if some of those domestic views, like Coit Tower oh-so-perfectly framed in Scottie's Lombard Street window, are faked? It's the 50s, and those sets are now as iconic as the film's real locations.

Since the movie's climax happens off-map, we'll address its setting up here. The climactic scene in the bell tower doesn't take place in San Francisco, but about 90 miles down the peninsula, in San Juan Bautista. When Hitchcock filmed Vertigo, the church did not actually have a bell tower. Instead, he art-directed an image of one into the scene, an insertion that feels almost silly to point out, since it would be hard to miss for anyone who happened to be watching the movie with their eyes open.


· Mapping San Francisco Buildings Used in Movies and Television [Curbed SF]
· 'Vertigo's' San Francisco locations [SFGate]
· Vertigo (1958) Locations [The Hitchcock Zone]

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1. 1302 Taylor

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1302 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

In the police chase in the opening sequence, Scottie followed the fleeing suspect and the cop over the rooftops of Taylor Street, running from Washington toward Jackson.

Photo via Reel SF

2. Midge's Apartment

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Montgomery Street & Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

Scottie's college sweetheart and unheeded voice of reason Midge lived on Telegraph Hill, though the scenes in her apartment were filmed in a studio with a faux backdrop of the view.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone

3. Ernie's

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847 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

Ernie’s, the Montgomery Street mainstay where Scottie first glimpses Madeleine, closed in the mid-90s and reopened for a time as Essex Supper Club. There are some rather fancy condos next door, at No. 845.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone

4. Scottie's House

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900 Lombard Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

Scottie lived in a duplex at 900 Lombard Street, with a working fireplace (sigh) and a faux view of Coit Tower—which wasn’t actually visible from the building. The interior is all soundstage, and the front of the building has changed somewhat. According to the Hitchcock Zone, in 2012 the owners added an exterior wall and did some repainting. The property last sold in 1990 for $900K, according to Redfin.

Photo via Reel SF

5. The Brocklebank

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1000 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

The Brocklebank, at Mason and Sacramento, is the home of Gavin and Madeleine Elster. In real life, the building is a privately managed rental—which is why you never see any listings for it—with a lengthy wait list. Apartments are either one-bedrooms or three-bedrooms.

6. Argosy Book Shop

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336 Kearny Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

When Midge and Scottie do their reconnaissance on Carlotta Valdes, they head over to a fictional bookshop, Argosy, to quiz the all-knowing owner. The bookstore is based on the Argonaut Book Shop, which opened at 336 Kearny Street in 1941. After the Bank of America HQ shot up a block away, owner Robert Haines’s rent spiked accordingly, and he moved the store six blocks to its current location, 786 Sutter. Robert Jr. runs the ship now. The Argosy you see in the movie is a studio replica of Argonaut.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone

7. McKittrick Hotel

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1007 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Built in 1888, the Fortmann Mansion on Gough Street enjoyed a star turn as the McKittrick Hotel, the manse that Carlotta's husband built and abandoned her in. The property was vacant during filming and was demolished in 1959. Now there’s a sports field in its place.

Photo via Artistic Homes of California, 1887-1890; H/t Noe Hill

8. Fort Point National Historic Site

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Marine Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 556-1693

Madeleine makes her suicidal leap into the bay from Fort Point in the Presidio. Somehow driving right up to the water's edge doesn't seem so feasible anymore.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone

9. Podesta Baldocchi

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224 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108

In the 50s, the flower shop where Madeleine buys a copycat of Carlotta’s bouquet was located at 224 Grant, now a 7 for All Mankind store.

10. The Legion of Honor

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100 34th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 750-3600
Visit Website

Madeleine visits Carlotta's portrait in the Legion of Honor, and after her death Scottie lurks around a young woman sitting in front of the painting, vaguely creeping her out. As the Hitchcock Zone tells it, Vera Miles (of Psycho fame) originally posed for the Carlotta portrait, but the results were a mess, and Paramount eventually brought in artist John Ferren to create the painting shown in the movie.

11. Mission Dolores Cemetery

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3321 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

According to the Chronicle, Carlotta’s gravestone remained on the Mission Dolores grounds for years after filming was over—it figured into some local tours—but all the traffic through real gravestones eventually convinced the bishop to send it packing.

12. Saint Joseph's Hospital

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355 Buena Vista Avenue East
San Francisco, CA 94117

After Madeleine’s death, Scottie is an inpatient at a Buena Vista Park sanatorium, where the docs try to heal him with Mozart. The location, St Joseph’s Hospital, is now home to some lovely condos.

13. Palace of Fine Arts

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3301 Lyon St
San Francisco, CA 94123

On one of their early dates, Scottie and Judy stroll by the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts.

14. The Empire Hotel (a.k.a. the Vertigo)

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940 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

The post-Madeleine Judy Barton is a shopgirl living in the somewhat seedy Empire Hotel, on Sutter between Hyde and Leavenworth. It was known for a while as the York Hotel but kind of couldn’t help changing its name to Hotel Vertigo.

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1. 1302 Taylor

1302 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

In the police chase in the opening sequence, Scottie followed the fleeing suspect and the cop over the rooftops of Taylor Street, running from Washington toward Jackson.

Photo via Reel SF
1302 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

2. Midge's Apartment

Montgomery Street & Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

Scottie's college sweetheart and unheeded voice of reason Midge lived on Telegraph Hill, though the scenes in her apartment were filmed in a studio with a faux backdrop of the view.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone
Montgomery Street & Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

3. Ernie's

847 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

Ernie’s, the Montgomery Street mainstay where Scottie first glimpses Madeleine, closed in the mid-90s and reopened for a time as Essex Supper Club. There are some rather fancy condos next door, at No. 845.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone
847 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

4. Scottie's House

900 Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

Scottie lived in a duplex at 900 Lombard Street, with a working fireplace (sigh) and a faux view of Coit Tower—which wasn’t actually visible from the building. The interior is all soundstage, and the front of the building has changed somewhat. According to the Hitchcock Zone, in 2012 the owners added an exterior wall and did some repainting. The property last sold in 1990 for $900K, according to Redfin.

Photo via Reel SF
900 Lombard Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

5. The Brocklebank

1000 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

The Brocklebank, at Mason and Sacramento, is the home of Gavin and Madeleine Elster. In real life, the building is a privately managed rental—which is why you never see any listings for it—with a lengthy wait list. Apartments are either one-bedrooms or three-bedrooms.

1000 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

6. Argosy Book Shop

336 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

When Midge and Scottie do their reconnaissance on Carlotta Valdes, they head over to a fictional bookshop, Argosy, to quiz the all-knowing owner. The bookstore is based on the Argonaut Book Shop, which opened at 336 Kearny Street in 1941. After the Bank of America HQ shot up a block away, owner Robert Haines’s rent spiked accordingly, and he moved the store six blocks to its current location, 786 Sutter. Robert Jr. runs the ship now. The Argosy you see in the movie is a studio replica of Argonaut.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone
336 Kearny Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

7. McKittrick Hotel

1007 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Built in 1888, the Fortmann Mansion on Gough Street enjoyed a star turn as the McKittrick Hotel, the manse that Carlotta's husband built and abandoned her in. The property was vacant during filming and was demolished in 1959. Now there’s a sports field in its place.

Photo via Artistic Homes of California, 1887-1890; H/t Noe Hill
1007 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

8. Fort Point National Historic Site

Marine Dr., San Francisco, CA 94129

Madeleine makes her suicidal leap into the bay from Fort Point in the Presidio. Somehow driving right up to the water's edge doesn't seem so feasible anymore.

Photo via the Hitchcock Zone
Marine Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94129

9. Podesta Baldocchi

224 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108

In the 50s, the flower shop where Madeleine buys a copycat of Carlotta’s bouquet was located at 224 Grant, now a 7 for All Mankind store.

224 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108

10. The Legion of Honor

100 34th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121

Madeleine visits Carlotta's portrait in the Legion of Honor, and after her death Scottie lurks around a young woman sitting in front of the painting, vaguely creeping her out. As the Hitchcock Zone tells it, Vera Miles (of Psycho fame) originally posed for the Carlotta portrait, but the results were a mess, and Paramount eventually brought in artist John Ferren to create the painting shown in the movie.

100 34th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121

11. Mission Dolores Cemetery

3321 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

According to the Chronicle, Carlotta’s gravestone remained on the Mission Dolores grounds for years after filming was over—it figured into some local tours—but all the traffic through real gravestones eventually convinced the bishop to send it packing.

3321 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

12. Saint Joseph's Hospital

355 Buena Vista Avenue East, San Francisco, CA 94117

After Madeleine’s death, Scottie is an inpatient at a Buena Vista Park sanatorium, where the docs try to heal him with Mozart. The location, St Joseph’s Hospital, is now home to some lovely condos.

355 Buena Vista Avenue East
San Francisco, CA 94117

13. Palace of Fine Arts

3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123

On one of their early dates, Scottie and Judy stroll by the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts.

3301 Lyon St
San Francisco, CA 94123

14. The Empire Hotel (a.k.a. the Vertigo)

940 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

The post-Madeleine Judy Barton is a shopgirl living in the somewhat seedy Empire Hotel, on Sutter between Hyde and Leavenworth. It was known for a while as the York Hotel but kind of couldn’t help changing its name to Hotel Vertigo.

940 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109