“…California Hall, at Polk and Turk St…”


Harry and Chico respond to an “804 in progress” and are called to California Hall, located at Polk and Turk St. As Harry ascends to the top floor of California Hall a man about to attempt suicide peers over the edge.


1971 - peering down from California Hall

1971 – peering down from California Hall


A sign saying ‘EMBASSY’ is visible to the left in frame 00:29:40 (below).


1971 - California Hall and the 'Embassy' sign across the road

1971 – California Hall and the ‘Embassy’ sign across the road


California Hall still stands at the intersection of Turk & Polk Streets although the California Culinary Academy have moved out. The ‘Embassy’ sign from frame 00:29:40 is attached to the Embassy Hotel across the road on the Turk St side of the intersection. The suicide jumper was standing on top of the Polk Street corner of California Hall, facing the Embassy Hotel.


2009 - California Hall at Turk & Polk, opposite the Embassy Hotel

California Hall at Turk & Polk, opposite the Embassy Hotel


2009 - California Hall, Polk St corner taken from Turk

California Hall, Polk St corner taken from Turk


9 Responses to “…California Hall, at Polk and Turk St…”

  1. The Tens says:

    This site is great. Thanks for making it, found it looking for info on this building. It apparently has a bowling alley in the bottom: http://thetenssf.tumblr.com/post/524579757/ive-been-meaning-to-photograph-this-for-awhile

  2. Erin says:

    I just watched this movie last night… I LOVE your site! By any chance… was I the only one that caught a Safeway sign in this scene around 30:16 ?? Was there a Safeway in that area at one time?

  3. Sal says:

    Came across this great find in searching for the hall. Back in the late 1970’s (78-80), someone had rented out a hallroom in the lower section and made it sort of a ‘night club’ for the 16 on up. Right here was the birthplace for many in the locking and strutting (or ‘popping’) dance scene. Many great memories in this place. Just wanted to say thank you for posting. 🙂

  4. Rene says:

    I saw/heard Jefferson Airplane and The Charlatans here early 1966….

  5. armani2222 says:

    I spent 3 years working here in the 80s as a carpenter for western contractors.. we renovated all 5 floors turning into the short lived California culinary Academy… There was never a bowling alley in the basement but a ball room that was at one time the down N under disco and Ratskeller restaurant..

  6. Paul Carew says:

    Greetings from England. I have just purchased an original poster for a concert at the California Hall from 2-3/6/1967 featuring Big Brother and the Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Country Joe and the Fish. I would have loved to have been there in the 1960’s. I was there last May 2012. Hoping to get back soon.

    • cris says:

      I saw Moby Grape there in their 4th incarnation in 1977, one of the most soul stirring performances ever! (Skip started the set with them..I gave him the peace-sign, he slowly ever so slow cracked a smile, and returned the old hippy salute). There was in the top of this amazing building, a sort-of attic space that Hungarians who came – at the invitation of the Russians in 1956 – and secured its perpetual use as a fencing club to work out and train for olympics competition and national’s. It was called PANNONIA CLUB. In the City Hall location used in D.H., the same one, I improvised a little speech on-the-fly as it were to city councilmen and their developer cronies, who had, unfortunately, to host a public meeting for complainers against their plans to re-develop the local artists habitat into a high-rent district..after the creative types had invested much blood and sweat into this former full-on ghetto section of “the City” located in the s0-called South of Market Street area. I had been living on and off the streets making poetry, and this was the artist’s performance art I called up that day no one who was there will forget I am sure! quite sure. (That would have been in 1984 or 5. when fresco was in the throes of irreversible and I dare say it, CATASTROPHIC changes..from which she would never recover. Totally terminal!)

  7. Chris Robertson says:

    Oh! and there was a piano – in tune – where one walked in from the elevator. So I could fence..or play on the keys, depending on my mood.

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