The Conversation - Take The Money or Run?
Caul has succeeded in extracting and cleaning up his surreptitious recording of the young couple's Union Square conversation but having listened to them over and over he is increasingly concerned that some harm may come to them. With a certain amount of trepidation he heads to the Director's office to deliver the tapes.
Then ... A striking sculpture and imposing office building faces him at the far end of a pedestrian bridge.
... and Now, this bridge spans Clay Street in the Financial District - it links Maritime Plaza with One Embarcadero Center, the 45 story high-rise office in the background which was completed in 1971 shortly before the movie was filmed (map). A Landmark Theatre cinema has since been built here and the sculpture, by Swiss sculptor Willi Gutmann, is still there, one of many works of art permanently gracing the four office buildings that, together with the Hyatt Regency Hotel, now comprise the Embarcadero Center.
Then ... He checks in with security at the desk and is asked to wait for the Director's assistant.
... and Now, this spiral staircase is at the west end of the lobby level of One Embarcadero Center - with the low walls removed it's now a more open space. The mosaic tiled floor pattern as an architectural feature carries through the public spaces of the entire Embarcadero Center complex, even on the footbridge above.
Then ... The assistant, Martin Stett (Harrison Ford) escorts him along a corridor high up on the south side of the building. Over to the left is the art deco Shell Building at 100 Bush Street and beyond it, south of Market, is the outline of the art deco PacBell Building at 140 New Montgomery Street. A glimpse west to the even taller 555 California (the former Bank of America building) is seen through the windows at far right.
... and Now, thanks to Google Earth, from a vantage point just above One Embarcadero (in the left foreground below), we can see how that view has changed. Many newer structures now surround those three buildings but they are still there.
As it turns out, the Director is out of town and Stett takes the tapes and hands over the agreed-on $15,000 fee. Caul, realizing the personal, bordering on dangerous, nature of the contents and reminding Stett that he was instructed to deliver them only to the Director, hands back the cash and, after a brief tug-of-war, reclaims the tapes. As he leaves, Stett pointedly warns him not to get involved ... "Someone may get hurt".
A later scene reveals more views of this office.
Watch this scene play out here.