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Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
San Francisco Night
San Francisco skyline at night (2150s)
San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, 2259
Transamerica Pyramid and other San Francisco buildings (2259, alternate reality)
San Francisco, 2270s
Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco (2270s)
"San Francisco – I was born there."
"It doesn't look all that different.
– Hikaru Sulu and Leonard McCoy, 1986 (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

San Francisco was a major port city located in California on the planet Earth. The geographical coordinates for the city were 37.7749° N and 122.419° W.

The site of many momentous historical events, including the signing of the Charter of the United Federation of Planets in 2161, San Francisco was one of the most important cities in the Federation, home to the Federation Council, Starfleet Headquarters, and Starfleet Academy. It was also renowned as a center of culture, with numerous significant landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, the Embarcadero, and Alcatraz.


Early history[]

San Francisco, 1893

San Francisco streets (1893)

Founded as a Spanish colony in the 18th century, San Francisco was soon claimed by the United States of America. It first gained prominence in 1849 after gold was discovered in California. Thousands of American fortune seekers, known as the 49ers, flocked to the city.

By 1893, San Francisco had gained 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. In August of that year, the city was visited by Samuel Clemens and Guinan, a disguised El-Aurian.

At the same time, an outbreak of cholera killed many residents, which was used as cover by a pair of Devidians time traveling from 2368 to harvest Human neural energy. The Devidians were stopped by a party from the USS Enterprise-D who had followed them through their temporal vortex. In the aftermath, Lieutenant Commander Data's severed head and several other artifacts would lay undiscovered under the Presidio for almost five centuries. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II")

20th century[]

In an alternate timeline created by Vosk's faction of the Temporal Cold War, Nazi Germany successfully invaded the East Coast of North America during World War II, while San Francisco remained under allied control. When a shuttlepod from Enterprise NX-01, which had also been moved back in time, attempted to approach the city in 1944, they were attacked by a squadron of P-51 Mustangs. (ENT: "Storm Front")

San Francisco, 1986

San Francisco

San Francisco at night

Nighttime San Francisco from the air (1986)

In 1986, a captured Klingon Bird-of-Prey commanded by Admiral James T. Kirk landed in Golden Gate Park after using the slingshot effect to travel back from 2286. They successfully retrieved two humpback whales from the Cetacean Institute in the nearby city of Sausalito, and returned to the future. Kirk and his compatriots remarked that the culture of the time was "primitive", "paranoid", and "medieval", and that it was a "miracle" Humans survived into the 21st century. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

21st century[]

Sanctuary district

Sanctuary District A in San Francisco (2024)

The city's social ills worsened by the early 2020s, when massive unemployment and homelessness had led the government to create walled Sanctuary Districts. Originally promoted as temporary shelters for the economically disadvantaged, the Sanctuaries became dumping grounds for undesirable segments of the population. They became overcrowded, destitute, and all but lawless.

On September 1, 2024, San Francisco's Sanctuary District A saw what would later be called the Bell Riots, a hostage crisis that ended with government troops storming the Sanctuary and killing hundreds within. Sanctuary resident Gabriel Bell would sacrifice himself to save the hostages' lives, which coupled with the shocking violence would turn public opinion against the Sanctuary system. Shortly after, the Sanctuary Districts were torn down and the United States began making genuine progress in addressing its social problems. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II")

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

San Francisco prospered after First Contact with the Vulcans in 2063 and the subsequent founding of United Earth. The nascent Starfleet was headquartered in the city, and the skyline was altered by a host of new buildings. The San Francisco Fleet Yards were built, and the Vulcan Compound was established nearby in Sausalito. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Home"; Star Trek Beyond)

22nd century[]

Starfleet headquarters 2150s

The headquarters of United Earth Starfleet (2150s)

Jonathan Archer lived most of his life in San Francisco. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

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

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

San Francisco Bay Stadium

The Bay Stadium (2154)

Following the resolution of the Xindi crisis in 2153, a ceremony was held in San Francisco's Bay Stadium to welcome back Captain Archer and his crew. (ENT: "Home")

In early 2155, delegates from Earth, Vulcan, Tellar, Andoria, Denobula, Rigel V, and Coridanite met in San Francisco to discuss the formation of a Coalition of Planets. During the conference, the terrorist group Terra Prime seized the verteron array on Mars and targeted Starfleet Command, which would also have wiped out half of San Francisco. After they were stopped by the Enterprise crew, the conference proceeded successfully. (ENT: "Demons", "Terra Prime")

Six years later in 2161, the Charter of the United Federation of Planets was signed in San Francisco by Human, Vulcan, Andorian, and Tellarite representatives. The event was witnessed by an earlier version of Archer from 2152, who was brought there by temporal agent Daniels in an effort to gain his cooperation. (ENT: "Zero Hour", "These Are the Voyages...")

23rd century[]

Federation Council grounds

The Federation Council Chambers (2286)

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

James T. Kirk lived in an apartment in San Francisco in 2285. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

In 2286, a Klingon delegation visited San Francisco to demand the extradition of Kirk for his actions regarding Commander Kruge's attempt to capture the Genesis Project. Shortly after, Earth was threatened by a mysterious probe attempting to contact humpback whales, which by that time had become extinct. Kirk and his crew, after traveling back to 1986 to retrieve a pair of whales, crashed their captured Klingon Bird-of-Prey in San Francisco Bay. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Alternate reality[]

San Francisco AR 2258

San Francisco in the alternate reality (2258)

In 2258 of the alternate reality, Nero deployed a drilling rig over the city, but Spock destroyed it, causing it to plunge into the bay. (Star Trek)

The filmmakers of Star Trek proceeded from the notion that a cataclysm took place in San Francisco during the mid-21st century and was responsible for the loss of multiple buildings, requiring major reconstruction. (Cinefex, No. 118, pp. 60 & 64)

USS Vengeance crashes into San Francisco

USS Vengeance crashing into San Francisco (2259)

The next year, Starfleet Headquarters was attacked by Khan Noonien Singh, who escaped to Qo'noS before he could be apprehended. He later made a second attempt to destroy the Headquarters by crashing the critically damaged USS Vengeance into it. The descending Vengeance grazed Alcatraz and demolished a number of buildings in San Francisco before coming to a stop. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

24th century[]

In 2368, evidence of an alien incursion to San Francisco in the late 19th century were uncovered beneath the Presidio, prompting an investigation by the Enterprise-D that led them to Devidia II. (TNG: "Time's Arrow")

In 2371, Commander Benjamin Sisko, Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax, and Doctor Julian Bashir were inadvertently transported to 2024 San Francisco by a temporal anomaly, whereupon they would play a crucial role in the Bell Riots. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II")

San Francisco attacked

San Francisco damaged by Breen attack (2375)

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")

Novels focusing on the Dominion War, such as Hollow Men, establish San Francisco to be where Federation, Klingon, and Romulan diplomats formally created the Federation Alliance in 2374.

In an alternate timeline, USS Voyager triumphantly flew over San Francisco to fireworks after returning to Earth in 2394. The ship eventually landed in the Presidio and was turned into a museum. (VOY: "Endgame")

Confederation San Francisco

San Francisco under the Confederation of Earth

In an alternate timeline where the Federation was replaced by the Confederation of Earth, San Francisco served as the seat of the office of the President. It was also where the public executions for Eradication Day were held. (PIC: "Penance")

25th century[]

In 2401, San Francisco was among the cities targeted by the Borg-controlled Federation fleet after Earth's planetary shields fell. (PIC: "The Last Generation")

32nd century[]

San Francisco, 3189

San Francisco, 3189.

By this time, although the site of Starfleet Academy was still intact, it was no longer a Starfleet school, as Earth had withdrawn from the Federation by this time, and Starfleet as well.

There were what appeared to be many buildings that hovered in the sky over the city of San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge was likewise still intact.

When the USS Discovery traveled to the year 3189, they were granted by United Earth Defense Force officer Captain Ndoye to visit Earth. Ensign Sylvia Tilly, along with Lieutenants R.A. Bryce, Keyla Detmer, Nilsson, Joann Owosekun, and Gen Rhys visited the former Starfleet Academy grounds. (DIS: "People of Earth")


San Francisco municipal railway system map

1986 system map of the San Francisco Metropolitan Area

San Francisco was located at the northernmost point of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. The Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges connected the city to the northern and eastern regions of the bay, respectively. A lake was located in its southwestern corner. The city was the center of the San Francisco Metropolitan Area, which included a number of other cities such as Alameda, Oakland, and Sausalito. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; ENT: "Zero Hour", "These Are the Voyages..."; Star Trek Into Darkness)

The unidentified lake is Lake Merced.

San Francisco was identified on a political map of the North Pacific region in the USS Enterprise library computer. (TOS: "The Cage")


San Francisco streets

A pedestrian San Francisco street (2372)

Main article: San Francisco locations

Major landmarks in the city included Fisherman's Wharf, the Transamerica Pyramid, Golden Gate Park, and the Presidio of San Francisco. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

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")

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

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 timestreams Kim's shuttle intersected, it is unknown if the restaurant actually existed in the prime reality. (VOY: "Non Sequitur")

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

Federation installations[]

San Francisco Financial

The Communications Research Center in central San Francisco (2404)

San Francisco was home to a number of major Federation and Starfleet facilities:

Both Starfleet Headquarters and Starfleet Academy were 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")


Streets of San Francisco (2259)

Various vehicles in San Francisco in the alternate reality (2259)

Garbage barge flying over San Francisco

A garbage barge begins its route in San Francisco in the alternate reality (2259)

From the 21st century onward, San Francisco was served by the Trans Francisco and Bay Area Rapid Transit mass transportation systems. Other means of transportation available in the city included hovercars, cable cars, air trams, and shuttlecraft. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; DS9: "Past Tense, Part I"; VOY: "Non Sequitur"; Star Trek Into Darkness; DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"; PIC: "Remembrance", "Maps and Legends")

The San Francisco area was prone to earthquakes; seismic regulators were installed beneath the city in 2368. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II")


This city was governed by the San Francisco Municipal Government and its sets of laws was codified in the San Francisco Municipal Code. Its coat of arms was the Seal of San Francisco.


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

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

San Francisco was home to the San Francisco Giants baseball team, during the period before baseball's decline in the mid-21st century. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")



Background information[]

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Gene Roddenberry previously worked on a show entitled Have Gun Will Travel, in which the protagonist lived in San Francisco. [1] He conceived of San Francisco's importance to the Star Trek franchise in "The God Thing", as that ultimately-rejected script placed Starfleet Headquarters in the city. (Inside Trek: My Secret Life with Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry, p. 69) Roddenberry went on to establish the city's importance with the production and novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 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). (citation needededit)

More shots of San Francisco were planned to appear in The Motion Picture than were ultimately completed for the film. A storyboard from the movie, depicting one of these unused shots, shows a walkway with a building on one side and a row of trees on the other, backgrounded by a skyline featuring multiple high-rises. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 8, p. 25)

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. [2] [3]

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 back lot were used for some of the street scenes in the 24th century as well. (citation needededit)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was the only Star Trek movie or television production filmed substantially in San Francisco itself. When Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett relayed to Nicholas Meyer the story of that film prior to its making, Meyer's first reaction was to ask if San Francisco had to be the movie's main 20th century setting, he having already made a film in which time-travelers end up in that city. Meyer wondered aloud about whether the former Enterprise crew couldn't go somewhere else "for a change," suggesting Paris as an alternative city. Nimoy and Bennett promptly replied that the San Francisco setting had to be used. "Ostensibly this had something to do with the fact of Starfleet Headquarters being based there," recalled Meyer, "but may more likely have been related to the fact that filming in San Francisco would be cheaper than attempting it in Paris." (The View from the Bridge)

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)

For the film Star Trek, three or four different versions of 23rd-century San Francisco were developed in concept CGI illustrations. Stated Roger Guyett, "There would be no reason there still couldn't be current buildings around." (Star Trek - The Art of the Film, p. 51) Director J.J. Abrams intended to introduce the city with a static camera. "I wanted to do an establishing shot that was part of a scene," Abrams pointed out. "So you see… 'Look, there's future San Francisco.'" (audio commentary, xxx) The production shot aerial plates and scenic reference in the city, which Industrial Light & Magic significantly modified, adding towering buildings supposedly constructed to replace those lost in a mid-21st century cataclysm. As well as adding such futuristic and monothlithic structures, some fairly common reference sites were also used, such as the Transamerica Pyramid and the Golden Gate Bridge. The reuse of these locations helped maintain continuity with earlier Star Trek films. Views of the city predominantly consisted of three-dimensional structures layered through levels of haze, creating parallax effects. Footage set in the grounds of Starfleet Academy required the filmmakers to digitally expand the city from another angle. Associate Visual Effects Supervisor Eddie Pasquarello explained, "Some of our aerial shots of San Francisco began with a real plate; but by the time we were done, it was pretty much all 3D digimatte." (Cinefex, No. 118, pp. 60 & 64)

Various filming locations were used for the depictions of San Francisco in Star Trek Into Darkness. Industrial Light & Magic Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett recollected, "We used parts of the CAA building in Los Angeles as San Francisco. We modified them a lot, but the style of architecture allowed us to establish a lot of in-camera shots. This time we filmed Starfleet exteriors at the Getty Center in the Santa Monica Mountains, and we used Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove as subsections of Starfleet." The filmmakers decided that, in San Francisco, buildings newer than the Golden Gate Bridge dwarfed the Transamerica Pyramid. After Roger Guyett shot visual effects plates and aerial reference footage in downtown San Francisco, Tiburon and Los Angeles, ILM developed environment extensions. "We started with the very tall and elongated city buildings that were featured briefly in the previous movie," explained ILM Art Director Yanick Dusseault. "In this movie, we were moving between buildings in 80 or 90 shots, so we had to get more intimate with the design. We spent a lot of time coming up with designs that fit Star Trek and the current city. San Francisco is the perfect location for capturing the Star Trek feel – it's very bright and airy, and fit the optimistic aesthetic." The ILM environments team created a model of futuristic San Francisco featuring sixty high-resolution buildings and then dressed in tiers of lower-resolution architecture. The high-resolution constructs could be exchanged and rotated to produce new configurations. (Cinefex, No. 134, pp. 72 & 74)

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

An early version of the script for Star Trek: First Contact would have implied that as of 2063, no one was thought to live in San Francisco anymore.

External links[]