Expertly designed and undeniably distinct, the Transamerica Pyramid stands out in San Francisco’s skyline. In fact, it is the tallest building in San Francisco. When construction on the 853-foot structure was completed in 1972, it was the eighth tallest building in the world.
Though initially built to house the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation (which has since moved its offices,) the tall four-sided, pyramid-shaped structure has grown to become a symbol of the city itself. Its 48 floors are filled with commercial spaces, both retail and office. The skyscraper gets its bright, light coloring from the crushed white quartz covering its exterior.
Its unique design allows for maximum air and light to enter the interior. Perhaps the most impressive thing of all is the view of the city and the surrounding bay that its top floors provide. Only two of the building’s elevators can access the very top floor, a conference room with an incredible 360-degree view. As the observation deck was closed after the events of September 11th, a visitor’s center allows for views via live camera feeds, along with a small gift shop and historical exhibit.
The Transamerica Pyramid is located at 600 Montgomery Street in San Francisco’s Financial District. Taking up almost an entire city block, it is easy to spot once you get close to its base. You can see the view from the 48th floor from 24-hour camera feeds displayed in the Visitor Center, located on the Plaza Level off of Clay Street. Also be sure to check out the adjacent Redwood Park full of redwood trees transplanted from the Santa Cruz Mountains.