With its chic
stores and salons, the former farmhouse at 2040 Union Street hasn't changed
much since it appeared as Erskine's photo studio in the 1970s sitcom Phyllis.
Spun off from the Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1975, Phyllis followed Mary's
pretentious neighbor, Phyllis Lindstrom, when she moved to the City from
Minneapolis following the death of her husband. Like Maude, another CBS
sitcom, the series revolved around a basically unlikeable character. When
it was not successful after its first season, producers used cast and
storyline changes, even a softer hairdo for star Cloris Leachman, in an
attempt to boost the show's ratings. Beginning in the second and final
season, Phyllis no longer worked at Erskine's and instead worked for Supervisor
Dan Valenti at City Hall. The 48-episode series featured a catchy theme
that celebrated many of San Francisco's landmarks like Chinatown and the
Golden Gate Bridge, all at the expense of hapless Phyllis. Name freaks
will enjoy knowing that the Union Street building in the Cow Hollow neighborhood
was built by a dairy farmer named James Cudworth.