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San Francisco

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Starfleet Headquarters in 2151.
San Francisco Bay Stadium
San Francisco Bay Stadium and skyline in 2154.
San Francisco Night
The San Francisco skyline at night in 2150s.
San Francisco AR 2258
San Francisco in 2258 (alternate reality)
The view over San Francisco Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground in 2272.
Federation Council grounds
Outside the Federation Council Chamber in 2286.
Starfleet Headquarters at night
Golden Gate bridge at night in 2293.
Starfleet Academy campus in 2368.
San Francisco streets
24th century San Francisco streets. (2372)
San Francisco attacked
San Francisco in ruins following the Breen attack in 2375.
San Francisco Financial
San Francisco Financial District in 2377.

San Francisco was a city on the North American continent of Earth, named after St. Francis of Assisi, and constituted one of the most important cities throughout both the planet itself and United Federation of Planets as a whole. The United Federation of Planets was founded in 2161 in this city. Many of the city's older structures, most notably the Golden Gate Bridge, remained intact into the 24th century, indicating it was one of the few large cities to escape destruction during World War III. (TNG: "The Outcast"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek: First Contact; ENT: "Zero Hour", "These Are the Voyages...")

Early history

Although founded as a Spanish colony in the 18th century, San Francisco first gained prominence in 1849 after gold was discovered in California. Thousands of American fortune seekers, known as the 49ers, settled in the city.

By 1893, San Francisco had a growing and diverse population, including professional gamblers like Frederick La Rouque and Joe Falling Hawk, as well as aspiring writers such as Jack London. The city also attracted a number of alien visitors, unbeknown to the Human population. Among these included the malevolent Devidians, and the El-Aurian Guinan, who masqueraded as a wealthy local patron.

During this time, occasional health epidemics struck San Francisco particularly hard. Outbreaks of cholera killed many residents. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II")

In an alternative reality of World War II created by Vosk's faction of the Temporal Cold War, Nazi Germany successfully invaded the East Coast of North America, while San Francisco remained under allied control. A squadron of P-51 Mustangs defended the city from air raids in this reality. (ENT: "Storm Front")

In the mid-20th century, San Francisco was the setting for novels featuring the adventures of the iconic private detective, Dixon Hill. It also served as the backdrop for many movies, including the comedic classic The Man From San Francisco. (ENT: "Cogenitor"; TNG: "The Big Goodbye")

By the end of that century, however, San Francisco had become a polluted metropolis, with a culture that was described by various commentators as "primitive", "paranoid", and "medieval". The age seemed to have been characterized by greed, lack of proper medical care, and environmental crises, causing Leonard McCoy to consider it a miracle the citizens were able to survive into the 21st century. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The city's social ills became even more pronounced by the 2020s. Massive unemployment and homelessness caused unrest in the streets. The government responded by instituting the system of Sanctuary Districts, requiring vagrants to live in segregated ghettos patrolled by law enforcement. Ostensibly, the Sanctuary Districts served only as temporary shelters until jobs could be found. In reality, they became a way to keep the segment of the population deemed "undesirable" out of the public eye.

An economic recovery eventually occurred, and the Sanctuary Districts shut down. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II")

San Francisco benefited enormously from the radical changes that came after First Contact with the Vulcans. It soon became home to important United Earth institutions, including the precursor to Starfleet. The skyline was also altered significantly, with a host of new skyscrapers eclipsing both the Transamerica Building and Golden Gate Bridge. (ENT: "Broken Bow"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek)

Role in diplomacy

The city had a prestigious history as a place of peace. In 1945, the Charter for the United Nations was signed in San Francisco by some fifty of Earth's nation-states.

After World War III, the nations of the world met in San Francisco to negotiate a peace treaty. (ENT: "Demons")

The spotlight of diplomacy fell on San Francisco again in 2155, when the representatives of Earth, Vulcan, Tellar, Andoria, Denobula, Rigel V, and Coridan met in the city to hold talks on the formation of a Coalition of Planets. (ENT: "Demons", "Terra Prime")

Six years later, in 2161, the charter that lead to the founding of the United Federation of Planets was signed in San Francisco. (ENT: "Zero Hour", "These Are the Voyages...")

Apocryphal novels focusing on the Dominion War, such as Hollow Men, established San Francisco as the location where diplomats from the Romulan Star Empire, Klingon Empire, and Federation formally created the Federation Alliance in 2374. It was never revealed on screen how the alliance actually came into being, as it was already in place by the end of Deep Space Nine's sixth season.

Incidents of time travel

In 2286, Admiral James T. Kirk journeyed back through time to 1986 San Francisco in a successful effort to retrieve two humpback whales from the Cetacean Institute in the nearby city of Sausalito. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In 2368, archaeologists digging beneath the Presidio uncovered several artifacts from the late 19th century. Among several mundane artifacts was the severed head of Lieutenant Commander Data, which had been undisturbed for nearly five hundred years. It was learned that Data and several of the USS Enterprise-D's crew had traveled back through time to late nineteenth century San Francisco in an effort to prevent the Devidians from draining the neural energy of Humans and disguising it as a cholera epidemic. While there, they met the noted humorist and prolific author, Samuel Clemens. (TNG: "Time's Arrow")

The area of the city formerly designated Sanctuary District A was the location of the Bell Riots of 2024. In 2371, Benjamin Sisko, Jadzia Dax, and Doctor Julian Bashir were thrown back to this time period by a temporal anomaly. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II")

A temporal agent from the 31st century, Daniels, transported Jonathan Archer to the 2161 charter signing in 2154. Daniels attempted to use the event to elicit Archer's cooperation. (ENT: "Zero Hour")


San Francisco is home to the following major installations:

Both Starfleet Headquarters and Starfleet Academy are located in an area of San Francisco known as the Presidio. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Conspiracy", "The First Duty"; VOY: "Non Sequitur")

One of the city's oldest neighborhoods was the Mission District. Another district was Chinatown.

The Clift Hotel was one of the best known hotels in the city. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

The Embarcadero was a street in San Francisco, directly along San Francisco Bay. There was a restaurant often visited by Malcolm Reed and Mark Latrelle. (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

The 602 Club was a popular meeting place for many Starfleet pilots in the 2140s. (ENT: "First Flight")

The pizzeria Fiorella's was located in San Francisco on Fountain Street. It was one of Hoshi Sato's favorite places to eat. (ENT: "Exile")

In the early 2150s, Doctor Phlox liked to frequent the restaurant Madame Chang's, which was located in San Francisco. In 2154, Phlox was assaulted near the restaurant and captured by three Rigelians who were working for the Klingon Empire. (ENT: "Affliction")

By 2151, many alien diplomatic structures were built in the San Francisco area, including the Vulcan Compound in Sausalito. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

According to the script, the opening scene placed in 2121 in "Broken Bow", showing Archer and his father in front of a sun porch, is placed in their apartment in San Francisco.

In 2285 James T. Kirk had an apartment high up in a tall skyscraper with sweeping views of the city, the bay, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, and at least two other prominent 23rd century skyscrapers.

There was a bar in San Francisco that was visited by Doctor McCoy in 2285. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

During her Academy days, Captain Janeway frequented a little coffee shop on Market Street called the Night Owl. (VOY: "In the Flesh")


San Francisco was the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

In the 21st century and onwards, the Trans Francisco mass-transit line was one of the main means of transportation in San Francisco. (VOY: "Non Sequitur"; DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

Malcolm Reed contacted his parents from San Francisco before he signed onto Enterprise. (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

San Francisco was the birth place of Hikaru Sulu. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In 2375, San Francisco was attacked by the Breen, resulting in massive casualties and heavy damage to the city, including the renowned Golden Gate Bridge. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil") Most of the city, including the Golden Gate Bridge, was fully rebuilt and restored less than a year later. (VOY: "Pathfinder")

In an alternate reality of 2372 visited by Harry Kim, parts of San Francisco were pedestrianized and served by public transports. In this reality, Kim lived in an apartment near a coffee shop called Cosimo's. Since the establishment's owner, Cosimo, was actually an alien whose time streams Kim's shuttle intersected, it is unknown if the restaurant actually exists in Voyager's reality. (VOY: "Non Sequitur")

San Francisco was identified on a political map of the North Pacific region in the USS Enterprise library computer. This map was retrieved by the Talosians when they accessed the starship's computers in 2254. (TOS: "The Cage")


In Dangerous Ground, Doctor John Rawling was born in this city in the early 20th century. (TNG: "The Big Goodbye")

The pages seen in the episode were from the mystery novel, Dangerous Groud, by author Frances Sil Wickware. This novel was published in 1946. Information on San Francisco was from page 12.



Related topics

Background information

The scale model of the San Francisco skyline was originally created by Industrial Light & Magic for the movies featuring the TOS cast; it has been reused as stock footage and in modified form ever since. Paramount Pictures also commissioned several matte paintings of San Francisco which have been used to establish location. (citation needededit)

Interior scenes set in San Francisco were typically shot at a Paramount Studios sound stage. The conference room at Starfleet Headquarters in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was actually a room in the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. [1] [2]

Outdoor scenes featuring the Presidio were filmed at the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant and Gardens in Van Nuys, supplemented by a matte painting. 19th century San Francisco was actually a redress of the "Western" Universal Studios backlot set. Different sections of the same backlot was used for some of the street scenes in the 24th century as well.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was the only Star Trek movie or television production filmed substantially in San Francisco itself.

Gene Roddenberry established the city's importance to the Star Trek franchise with the production and novelization of the first feature-length film, choosing San Francisco primarily because of its role in the creation of the United Nations. However, he also considered the city an appropriate showcase for the secular Humanism that underlined much of his own philosophy, though controversies have arisen about the role of Alan Dean Foster in the changes to the Star Trek lexicon the film introduced. Some critics claim Roddenberry took credit, even though Foster was actually responsible for the film's story (contrary to rumor, Foster did not "ghost" write the novelization; Roddenberry wrote it alone). Defenders of Roddenberry assert that Foster wrote the story treatment, but left out many of the details.

Upon visualizing 1940s' San Francisco for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Zero Hour", Eden FX took considerable care to depict the city correctly. Robert Bonchune later recalled, "That little sequence, in going back to the producers [for approval], took a lot of finessing and tweaking for it to look right, and [for] San Francisco to look right." (Star Trek Magazine issue 118, p. 31)

According to the Star Trek: Star Charts (pg. 32), San Francisco was the capital of the North American continent.

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