Vertigo - McKittrick Hotel
The plot thickens. Scottie follows Madeleine yet again; she heads to the McKittrick Hotel.
Then ... She is going west on Eddy approaching Gough. The McKittrick Hotel is across Gough on the right, set back just out of this view.
... and Now
Then ... Scottie watches Madeleine walk towards the hotel entrance. This fine old Victorian was located at 1007 Gough Street on the northwest corner at Eddy in the Western Addition neighborhood (map). It's easy to see why this building, with its brooding air of mystery, would appeal to Hitchcock.
... and Now, the building is no longer there ... built in the 1890s, it was vacant in 1957 when this scene was filmed and was demolished two years later. Today a school sports field covers the corner site where the mansion used to be.
1007 Gough was also known as the Henry F. Fortmann mansion, after its long-term resident. This contemporaneous biography tells us he was the president of the Alaska Packers Association, representing the salmon canning business. He moved into 1007 Gough in 1897 and resided there until his death in 1946. Here's his entry in the 1897 San Francisco Polk's Crocker-Langley city directory.
Then ... He gets out of his car and watches as Madeleine opens the curtains in an upstairs room. Behind him is St. Paulus' German Evangelican Lutheran Church (it’s also visible on the left in the first image above).
... and Now, the site of the old church is an empty lot to this day, currently doubling as a community garden. Incidentally, this church and the Fortmann mansion were in a scene eight years earlier in the movie The Man Who Cheated Himself.
... in 1995 ... this vintage photo captured the venerable church being consumed by fire on November 5, 1995.
In the hotel, the manager (Ellen Corby) tells him Madeleine often stops by but hadn't been here today. Incredulous, he insists on seeing her room but finds that she has disappeared. This episode is another trademark Hitchcock 'MacGuffin', a puzzling sequence having no logical explanation. (Go here to see the other one in this movie).
Then ... Scottie's view from the window shows the empty spot where Madeleine's Jaguar had been parked just moments before. That's Jefferson Square Park across Eddy from the hotel.
... and Now, the park, viewed from Eddy, still has a public bench in the same spot.
Then ... Totally confused, Scottie returns to the Brocklebank Apartments. Hitchcock takes the opportunity to show yet another vertiginous view, down the steep block on Mason between Sacramento and Clay (click image to enlarge).
... and Now, a new undistinguished apartment building in the distance at left, the 1960s Royal Towers at 1750 Taylor Street, eyesores the neighborhood. Fortunately, the classy Brocklebank remains unchanged.
Then ... and there, in the courtyard, is Madeleine's Jaguar. By now the perplexed detective can be excused if he thinks he's been imagining things.
... and Now, a different awning and that's about it. Even the large plant pots on either side of the entrance are the same.