Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 09/17/2014

Photo taken on December 28, 2013

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Coronet Hotel
Cathedral Building
Dashiell Hammett
Jones Street
California Street
Nob Hill
The Maltese Falcon
San Francisco
United States
Cathedral Apartments

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Photo replaced on September 17, 2014
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The Cathedral Apartments – California Street at Jones Street, San Francisco, California

The Cathedral Apartments – California Street at Jones Street, San Francisco, California
At the top of California Street sits the most stylish row of old apartment houses on Nob Hill. It starts at 1201 California, known as the Cathedral Building where Brigid O’Shaughnessy briefly stayed in in Dashiell Hammett’s book "The Maltese Falcon." (In the book the building is named the Coronet Hotel.)

Part of the fascination with The Maltese Falcon is Hammett’s vivid evocation of the city of San Francisco and his interweaving of actual locations with imaginative ones likely based on real addresses. In this case, the Coronet is an imaginative address, chosen as a swank location for the smooth facade Brigid projects. Crime author Joe Gores, writing in 1975 for the City of San Francisco magazine, tracks down the actual locations and models of settings in The Falcon, and convincingly argues that the Cathedral Building was the model for the Coronet. The building was constructed in 1929 and is the work of the architectural firm of Weeks & Day who also designed the Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco and the historic California Theater in San Jose.

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