There's one thing everyone would agree on about the pyramid/rocket shaped building in San Francisco - you can't ignore it! Yes, you'll just be walking along a street somewhere and lo!, there it is.
As soon the TransAmerica Pyramid was built in 1972, the skyscraper's unique silhouette made it an iconic San Francisco landmark. Before its completion however many people were opposed to the construction of the tower.
Having a height of 260 meters (853ft) it towers over the most of the city. It has 48 floors with a 64 meter (210ft) high spire on top, covered with aluminum panels. The building owes its sparkling white color to the layer of crushed quartz that covers the rest of the building.
Fondest memory: When the plans for the new headquarters of the TransAmerica Company (insurance, wouldn't you know) were unveiled in 1969 many of San Francisco's citizens opposed the construction of the proposed office building. Most people claimed that the futuristic pyramid-shaped skyscraper wouldn't fit in the city of San Francisco, which is better known for its picturesque wooden Victorian houses, bay windows and piers than for its skyscrapers.
According to the architect, William L. Pereira, the pyramid is the ideal shape for skyscrapers, offering the practical advantage of letting more air and light in the adjacent streets. The building would, he thought, be a statement of architectural sculpture. He was ultimately proved right.
From an economical point of view, a pyramid is not an efficient structure in terms of surface. The upper floors are very small and since there is a minimum of space needed for elevators, emergency stairs and so on, the percentage of useable space is very low. This is basically the main reason such a shape is rarely used.
However the unique shape was used so the architect could get around the strict building laws that imposed a certain ratio between the building's surface and its height. Thanks to its pyramid shape the tower was allowed to be much taller than if it had a conventional design.
As a visitor I have to say I enjoyed it and would have liked to have spent some time in it but, unfortunately, time didn't allow.
"Wall Street West" begins at Montgomery Street and extends east toward the Embarcadero. Although San Francisco's FINANCIAL DISTRICT is contained within a few city blocks, it is ranked as one of the top four financial districts in the nation.
The TRANSAMERICA PYRAMID, located at 600 Montgomery is San Francisco's tallest building, rising 853 feet.
Favorite thing: This is a picture of the building I loved the most in San Fransisco. The Trans American Pyramid is such a beautiful building it's seen on alot of postcards and when you take a look at a San Fransisco tv-show you'll be able to find it a couple of times.
Also known as the Pyramid building. This is one of San Francisco's most recognisable buildings as it's in the shape of a Pyramid!
It can be located on Montgomery Street which is in the Financial District.
Since 1972, this is the tallest building in the city (256m).
You will see it from almost everywhere.
Unfortunately this is not open to public (anymore?). The only interest to go to its foot is to see some of the (young) redwood trees if you don't have the possibility to go to Muir woods or closer to the Botanical garden.
Big Brother is watching you. A fun thing to do is to enter the Transamerica Pyramid, S.F.'s tallest building. In the lobby area they have several screens that show live videos from cameras installed on the outside of the building. You can use a joystick to turn the camera. It's fun to watch S.F. through a camera from the city's landmark building. I tried to follow cars on their way through town. It was almost like a reality detective computer game to follow the cars until they leave the range of the camera.
Fondest memory: Take a ride to the top of Twin Peaks. It's one of my most favorite places in San Francisco. The view across the city, Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridge and the whole Bay Area is fantastic. The curvy ride to the top of the mountain is fun, too.
Trans Am Pyramid
This building has a height of 200 meters and is the highest building in San Francisco. On the 27th floor is an observation piont.
Favorite thing: see the Transamerica building. Actually, it's not that great - but it's a cool photo so what the hey.
Favorite thing: The Transamerica Building is not only the tallest building in San Francisco, it's also a symbol of the city. I personally think it's one of the most striking skyscrapers in the world.
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