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Grant Avenue, San Francisco, California

Grant Avenue in San Francisco, California, is one of the oldest streets in the city's Chinatown district.

Hitchcock's Films

Vertigo (1958)

214 Grant Avenue

As Scottie tails Madeleine, she turns down an alley located next to 214 Grant Avenue. After parking up, she uses an alley back door to access the Podesta Baldocchi florist shop. The distinctive green delivery vans belonging to the shop can be seen parked on the side of the road.

In reality, the alley with the back door was filmed at a separate location in a neighbouring block and careful editing was used to imply the two alleys were one and the same.[1]

Podesta Baldocchi, 224 Grant Avenue

Founded in 1871, Podesta Baldocchi, the florist shop with the distinctive tiled floor that Madeleine visits in Vertigo, was originally located at 224 Grant Avenue. Later in the film, as Scottie lingers outside the shop, he sees Judy Barton for the first time.

Although Hitchcock usually preferred to film interior scenes on the studio soundstages, art director Henry Bumstead recommended shooting the flower shop scenes on location, partly due to the visual appeal of floor tiles. Filming took place on the morning of Sunday 6th October, 1957 and required crew to set up bright studio lights within the shop. Podesta Baldocchi staff later recalled having to change the flowers between takes as they wilted quickly under the strong lighting.[2]

Since filming took place, Podesta Baldocchi relocated to 410 Harrier Street and 224 is now a clothing store.

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Selection of film frames: Grant Avenue, San Francisco, California

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Notes & References

  1. Reel SF: Flower Shop Alley
  2. Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic (1998) by Dan Auiler, page 81