Thursday, September 20, 2007

Transamerica Pyramid

Transamerica Pyramid, U.S. Geological SurveyInformation presented on this website (U.S. Department of the Interior - U.S. Geological Survey) is considered public information (unless otherwise noted) and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, built to withstand earthquakes, swayed more than 1 foot but was not damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta, California, earthquake

Transamerica Pyramid, Exterior view of 600 Montgomery St. (photo by Dan Radulescu) U.S. Geological SurveyExterior view of 600 Montgomery St. (photo by Dan Radulescu) U.S. Geological Survey

Transamerica Pyramid From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest and most recognizable skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline
Built on the location of the historic Montgomery Block, it has a structural height of 260 meters (853 feet) and contains 48 floors of retail and office space. Construction began in 1969 and finished in 1972. It is currently ranked as the 88th tallest building in the world.

Its unique shape is the result of the desire by Transamerica to have a building whose top would be looked up to by the excutives on the highest floor of the Bank of America building, which is not only tall but also sits upon a substantially higher elevation.

The land use and zoning restrictions for the parcel limited the number of square feet of office that could be built upon the lot, which sits at the northern boundary of the financial district. The pyramid is an innovative solution to this design challenge, and when viewed from the East Bay forms a prominent and unique skyline projection, forming an important element of San Francisco's "signature skyline".

Although it no longer houses the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation, it is still strongly associated with the company and is depicted in the company's logo. The building is evocative of San Francisco and has become one of the many symbols of the city.

Designed by architect William Pereira, it faced considerable opposition during its planning and construction, and was sometimes referred to by detractors as "Pereira's Prick". In 1999, Transamerica was acquired by Dutch insurance company AEGON. When the non-insurance operations of Transamerica were later sold to GE Capital, AEGON retained the building as an investment.

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