Nob Hill is a neighborhood in San Francisco, California, centered on the intersection of California Street and Powell Street. It is one of San Francisco's 44 hills, and one of its original "Seven Hills." Prior to the 1850s, Nob Hill was called California Hill (after California Street, which climbs its steep eastern face). It was renamed after the Central Pacific Railroad's Big Four – called the Nobs – built mansions there.
An affluent district, home to many of the city's upper-class families as well as a large young urban professional population. Nob is disparaging British slang abbreviation of "noble/nobility" referring to the monied, often titled upper-classes. The location is also derisively referred to as Snob Hill. The intersection of California and Powell streets is the location of two of its four well-known and most expensive hotels: the Fairmont Hotel, the Mark Hopkins Hotel, the Stanford Court. The Mark Hopkins Hotel and the Huntington Hotel are located one block away at Mason & California. The hotels were named for three of The Big Four, four entrepreneurs of the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad: Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins & Collis P. Huntington. The fourth, Charles Crocker has a garage named after him in the neighborhood. The Fairmont is also named for a San Francisco tycoon, James G. Fair.
Opposite the Fairmont Hotel and Pacific Union Club is Grace Cathedral, one of the city's largest houses of worship. The state Masonic Temple is also located across from the church.
Though Nob Hill is a very densely built neighborhood, there are parks at which residents and visitors can relax and enjoy the outdoors. The most prominent park in the neighborhood is Huntington Park, which takes up an entire block, bounded by Sacramento Street to the north, Taylor Street to the west, California Street to the south, and Cushman Street to the east.
Huntington Park has a playground for children, landscaping, and several fountains. Washington & Hyde Mini Park is situated on a single lot between two apartment buildings on the north side of Washington Street, between Hyde Street and Leavenworth Street. Washington & Hyde Mini Park has a playground for children, landscaping, and public restrooms.