Lombard Street (San Francisco)

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Lombard Street
Sanfran 61 bg 032605.jpg
Lombard Street seen from Coit Tower
Maintained by SF DPW
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. 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
Looking up Lombard Street

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. It is also a hazard to pedestrians, who are accustomed to shallow inclines, up to 4.86° because of wheel chair navigability concerns. 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]

Past residents of Lombard Street include Rowena Meeks Abdy,[7] an early California painter who worked in the style of Impressionism.

External images
This early image shows Lombard Street in 1933, before the hydrangeas were planted.[5]
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.[5]


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"[8] 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. ^ a b c 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. ^ "Rowena Meeks F. Abdy American 1887-1945 Biography". The Annex Galleries. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  8. ^ "Lombard Street, San Francisco". San Francisco. a view on cities. Retrieved August 27, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google