Nob Hill features some of the most impressive views in San Francisco. The area was settled in the rapid urbanization happening in the city in the late nineteenth century. Because of the panoramic views and its central position, it became the home to many city leaders and financiers. These included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker (on the site of whose home Grace Cathedral now stands), Mark Hopkins, and C. P. Huntington. The neighborhood was completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, except for the granite walls that had surrounded the Stanford, Hopkins, and Crocker mansions (portions still visible on California and Sacramento Streets). The mansion of tycoon James Flood, though gutted by fire, was rebuilt and stands to this day as the headquarters of the Pacific-Union Club. Many of the exclusive hotels now in the area were built over the ruins of the former mansions.
The neighborhood today includes restaurants, the Nob Hill Masonic Center, corner markets, and a large number of apartments. Nearby hotels include the Huntington, the Mark Hopkins, the Fairmont and the Stanford Court. The California-Van Ness cable car ilne runs along California Street, stopping directly in front of Grace Cathedral, taking riders from the Financial District to Van Ness Avenue.
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