Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Fog Over Frisco - Lafayette Park

    Apparently Arlene's engagement was a sham ("For business reasons ...", she said) because It turns out that the radiogram was from her secret lover, Joshua Mayard (Douglas Dumbrille), an older man who runs a subsidiary of her stepfather's banking company.  When he cuts off their relationship she slaps his face and storms out, with Mayard in pursuit.


    Arlene fails to return home and sister Val reports her disappearance to the police; it didn't take long for a tipster to alert the local newspaper, setting off a mad rush of reporters to Arlene's home at Lafayette Park.  The entrance of the fictitious newspaper building below was most likely filmed at Warner Brothers Burbank Studios but the taxi was a real San Francisco Yellow Cab.

.... a vintage photo ...  here's part of a fleet of 337 of the same cabs idled at 245 Turk Street in San Francisco during the 1934 general strike.  Note the same exterior sun visor and the telephone number and circular insignia on the sides.


Then ...  The cab climbs towards Lafayette Park from Jackson Street up a steep section of Octavia in Pacific Heights (map);  the view across the north bay takes in Alcatraz and Angel Island.

... and Now,  rampant tree growth now blocks this view.  Drivers today still navigate around the concrete-walled planters in the center of the pavement.


Then ...  The reporters congregate on Washington Street at Octavia next to a large Pacific Heights mansion on the northern edge of Lafayette Park.

... and Now,  the mansion, at 2080 Washington, was built in 1913 by sugar magnate Adolph Spreckels for his young wife Alma.  Author Danielle Steel is the current owner and she is responsible for that swollen overgrown hedge that today denies passersby the sight of the classic French Baroque limestone home.  Ms Steel, tear down this wall!!

... in 1953,  20 years after the movie was filmed unimpeded views of both mansion and bay were still being enjoyed.


Then ...  Viewed from the Octavia intersection, Lafayette Park stretches back beyond the reporters.  The cable car on Washington is a reminder that Pacific Heights used to be served by the Washington-Jackson line.

... and Now,  from the same vantage point the park looks very different having been re-laid out and reworked over the years.  The Washington-Jackson line was shut down in 1956, to the chagrin of the local residents.

... in 1906 ... For history buffs here's a composited image of Lafayette Park when it was home to a tent city erected for earthquake survivors.  Those three homes on Washington Street  have since been replaced; they are, from left to right, the William Dunphy mansion, the James V. Coleman mansion and, across Octavia, the Jean M. Boyd mansion at 2080 Washington on the site of the Spreckels mansion described above.


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