Lombard Street (San Francisco)

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Lombard Street
Sanfran 61 bg 032605.jpg
Lombard Street seen from Coit Tower
Maintained by
Coordinates 37°48′07″N 122°25′08″W / 37.80194°N 122.41889°W / 37.80194; -122.41889
West end Presidio Boulevard
US 101
East end The Embarcadero

Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California that is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. Stretching from The Presidio east to The Embarcadero (with a gap on Telegraph Hill), most of the street's western segment is a major thoroughfare designated as part of U.S. Route 101. The famous one-block section, claimed as "the crookedest street in the world", is located along the eastern segment in the Russian Hill neighborhood. The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia by San Francisco surveyor Jasper O'Farrell.[1]

Route description[edit]

Looking east down the curvy block of Lombard Street, with the straight section continuing towards Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower

Lombard Street's west end is at Presidio Boulevard inside The Presidio; it then heads east through the Cow Hollow neighborhood. For twelve blocks, between Broderick Street and Van Ness Avenue, it is an arterial road that is co-signed as U.S. Route 101. Lombard Street continues through the Russian Hill neighborhood and to the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. At Telegraph Hill it turns south, becoming Telegraph Hill Boulevard to Pioneer Park and Coit Tower. Lombard Street starts again at Winthrop Street and ends at The Embarcadero as a collector road.[2]

Lombard Street is known for the one-way block on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, where eight sharp turns are said to make it the most crooked street in the world. The design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry[3] and built in 1922,[4] was intended to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade,[5] which was too steep for most vehicles. The crooked block is perhaps 600 feet (180 m) long (412.5 feet (125.7 m) straightline), is one-way (downhill) and is paved with red bricks. The sign at the top recommends 5 mph (8 km/h).

The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of the block on Hyde Street.[6]

Today, the Academy of Art University owns and operates a building called Star Hall on the street for housing purposes.[7]

Past residents of Lombard Street include Rowena Meeks Abdy,[8] an early California painter who worked in the style of Impressionism.


A panoramic view of Lombard Street

See also[edit]

  • 49-Mile Scenic Drive
  • Vermont Street, the other San Francisco street claimed to be the "most crooked"[9] has seven turns instead of eight, but its hill is steeper than Lombard's
  • Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa, once recognized by Ripley's Believe It or Not! as "The Crookedest Street in the World". Like Lombard Street it has eight turns but over a shorter distance.


  1. ^ Loewenstein, Louis, K. (1984) Streets of San Francisco: The Origins of Street and Place Names. Don't Call It Frisco Press.
  2. ^ Google. "Lombard Street" (Map). Google Maps. Google. 
  3. ^ Saperstein, Susan (February 2009). "Lombard Street". San Francisco City Guides. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  4. ^ Brown-Martin, Darcey (September–October 2001). "An Honestly Crooked Street". via Magazine. 
  5. ^ Saperstein, Susan. "Lombard Street". San Francisco City Guides. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Hyde St & Lombard St". San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Academy of Art University Campus Map" (PDF). academyart.edu. Academy of Art University. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Rowena Meeks F. Abdy American 1887–1945 Biography". The Annex Galleries. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  9. ^ "Lombard Street, San Francisco". San Francisco. a view on cities. Retrieved August 27, 2009. 

External links[edit]

External media
This early image shows Lombard Street in 1933, before the hydrangeas were planted.
This early image shows the houses on the south side of the block were destroyed to create a fire break during the 1906 earthquake and fire. In this photo taken during street construction, the south side is still not built up.
Lombard Street view from Telegraph Hill, with Candyland promotional striping, August 2009 on Flickr
Down Lombard Street view in Video with interactive map on Kinomap

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata