This 1904 stone building survived the 1906 earthquake and retains its original character, notwithstanding the Gap flagship downstairs. Upstairs, labyrinthine marble hallways are lined with frosted-glass doors, just like a noir movie set. No coincidence: in 1921 the SF office of infamous Pinkerton Detective Agency hired a young investigator named Dashiell Hammett, author of the 1930 noir classic The Maltese Falcon.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Powell St Cable Car Turnaround

0.02 MILES

Peek through the passenger queue at Powell and Market Sts to spot cable-car operators leaping out, gripping the chassis of each trolley and slooowly…

2. I Magnin Building

0.19 MILES

When Timothy Pflueger’s radical design was revealed on Union Sq in 1948, SF society was shocked: San Francisco’s flagship clothing store appeared…

4. Union Square

0.21 MILES

High-end stores ring Union Sq now, but this people-watching plaza has been a hotbed of protest, from pro-Union Civil War rallies to AIDS vigils. Atop the…

5. Contemporary Jewish Museum

0.21 MILES

That upended blue-steel box miraculously balancing on one corner atop the Contemporary Jewish Museum is appropriate for an institution that upends…

7. Luggage Store Gallery

0.25 MILES

Like a dandelion pushing through sidewalk cracks, this plucky nonprofit gallery has brought signs of life to one of the Tenderloin's toughest blocks for…

8. Frank Lloyd Wright Building

0.25 MILES

Shrink the Guggenheim, plop it inside a yellow-brick box with a round Romanesque entryway and put it where you'd least expect it: on a shady SF alley that…