Transamerica Pyramid

Transamerica Pyramid


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Nestled in the northeast region of the Financial District North and bounded by Clay, Montgomery, Sansome, and Washington streets, stands an architectural sculpture, the brainchild of architect William Pereira. The Transamerica Pyramid was designed to be part architectural masterpiece and part environmental practicality: The unique pyramid shape was chosen to allow natural light and fresh air to filter down to the streets below.Excavation to a depth of 52 feet commenced in December 1969, with the first steel placed in November 1970. The depth of the concrete mat foundation is nine feet, the result of a 24-hour continuous concrete pour.The building's base is a four-level, multi-use, including lobby, restaurant, and garage. The maximum number of parking spaces in the building's underground garage is 280.The Pyramid lobby features the work of many artists through a rotating art exhibition. The edifice has a whopping total space of 530,000 square feet.Its total height is 853 feet, including the “spire.” The spire is the upper 212 feet, and is covered with vertically louvered aluminum panels. With 3,678 windows, it requires a month to wash them.The "wings" that start at the 29th floor are necessary near the top of the pyramid to support elevators on the east side, and a stairwell and smoke tower on the west side. In 1969, and throughout its construction, the boarding signage surrounding the emerging site boldly boasted, “A San Francisco landmark since 1972.”On October 17, 1989, the magnitude 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake struck the Santa Cruz Mountains in central California. Sixty miles away, in downtown San Francisco, the occupants of the Transamerica Pyramid were unnerved as the 49-story office building shook for more than a minute. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) instruments, installed years earlier, showed that the top floor swayed more than 1 foot from side to side. The survival of the Transamerica Pyramid can be attributed to the building's careful structural engineering, designed to withstand tremors in the seismically active Bay Area.Although the Transamerica Pyramid is no longer the headquarters of Transamerica Corporation, the company retains a small presence as a tenant and still uses the building's image as its registered trademark logo. Instead, it is an excellent office tower and home to more than 50 high profile firms employing about 1,500 people.


Transamerica&rsquos Brief History

Founded back in 1991 by Hubert Humphrey, Transamerica is an American-based company that sells or specializes in two types of financial products: health and life insurance. Transamerica has several techniques and programs to achieve health goals regarding selling health and life insurance. One such program is the MLM. The company allows just about anyone to make money by selling Transamerica insurance programs or recruiting other people to sell their insurance products.

It hasn&rsquot been all smooth sailing for Transmeria ever since it was founded. For instance, they&rsquove been fined for the type of marketing technique they use. Many associate it with unlawful marketing techniques, and as a result, they ended up rebranding or changing their name to World Marketing Alliance. Furthermore, it was sold by Hubert Humphrey (the founder) in 1999 to Aegon and is now a subsidiary of World Financial Group .


Contents

In October 1904, A.P. Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco which later became known as Bank of America. [3] [4] In 1928, Giannini put the bank into a holding company he named the Transamerica Corporation. In 1930, the company acquired Occidental Life Insurance Company, founded in 1906, and renamed it Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company. [5] Gradually, the company became a more diversified conglomerate which included the film distributor United Artists, [6] Transamerica Airlines and Budget Rent a Car. [7]

In 1972, the company completed construction of the Transamerica Pyramid skyscraper in San Francisco which served as its headquarters for many years. Although the company currently retains only a few offices in the building, the pyramid is still depicted in the company's logo and marketing materials. [8]

In the 1980s, Transamerica began to divest and focused exclusively on financial services. [9] It was eventually pared down to three main product divisions: insurance, investments and retirement. In July 1999, Transamerica CEO Frank C. Herringer announced that Aegon, the Netherlands-based insurer, would acquire the company. [10] Transamerica Occidental merged into Transamerica Life Insurance Company on October 1, 2008.

Transamerica primarily offers insurance and financial services. Types of life and health insurance policies offered include term life, whole life, universal life, variable universal life, accidental death, [11] Medicare supplement, and long term care. [12] Transamerica companies also offer a variety of mutual funds and annuities. [13] Transamerica has over 15,000 licensed insurance agents just in the state of California.

Transamerica’s retirement division offers defined benefit pension plans and defined contribution retirement plans, [14] including 401(k) and 403(b), 457, profit sharing, money purchase, cash balance, Taft-Hartley, multiple employer plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, and rollover individual retirement accounts. Other services include plan-level record keeping and administrative services, participant communications and education services, fiduciary risk mitigation services, open investment architecture, and compliance guidance and regulatory support. [15]

In December 2020, Transamerica announced it would no longer sell variable annuities with benefit riders and fixed index annuities and is also exiting the standalone long term care market. [16] [17] [18]

Transamerica is a long-time sponsor of Cedar Rapids native and 12-time PGA Tour winner Zach Johnson. [19] [20] Transamerica also sponsors Kyle Stanley, [21] 2009 Open Championship winner Stewart Cink, and Azahara Munoz, in addition to the American Junior Golf Association and its annual Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-America teams. [22]

With a large employee presence in Denver, Transamerica in 2015 became the shirt sponsor of the Colorado Rapids, winners of the 2010 MLS Cup. Transamerica has an additional sponsorship agreement with Rapids and United States national team goalkeeper Tim Howard. [22]

Transamerica currently collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, as well as the American Heart Association. [22] [23]

Transamerica funds two foundations: the Aegon Transamerica Foundation and the Transamerica Institute. It created the Aegon Transamerica Foundation in 1994 to provide financial grants to community non-profit organizations. Transamerica employees also volunteer services to these organizations. [24] The foundation received the Corporate Citizenship Award in 2013 for creating the first urban farm in Iowa. [25]

The Transamerica Institute consists of two divisions: the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and the Transamerica Center for Health Studies. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies researches and provides education on trends, issues, and opportunities related to saving and planning for retirement. [26] The Transamerica Center for Health Studies focuses on identifying, researching, and analyzing health care issues facing consumers and employers. [27] The Transamerica Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company. [28]


Transamerica Pyramid - History

Transamerica Pyramid, 2013

At the time of its completion in 1972, the Transamerica Pyramid at the corner of Washington and Montgomery Streets had few advocates. The structure, a present-day icon almost as representative of San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge and the cable cars, was called “inhuman” (and that by the city’s planning director!) and an “abomination” by the Chronicle’s architectural critic.

There was no question that the building was more than a little bit out of scale. The Transamerica Corporation decided that its three-story wedding cake of a structure across the street at Columbus and Montgomery—home to the Church of Scientology in 2013—was no longer in keeping with the image of the multibillion-dollar global conglomerate that it had become. It proposed a 1,000-foot-high building in an area where city zoning called for a 65-foot height limit. The architect of the structure was to be William Pereira, whose previous contribution to the San Francisco skyline had been the Fairmont Hotel annex tower—a work that by most objective standards would inspire little confidence in the architect’s aesthetic judgment.

The corporation, hell bent on constructing the tallest building west of the Mississippi, began a vigorous lobbying campaign, even hiring, according to Peter Booth Wiley, hippies to picket while carrying signs reading “Artists for the Pyramid.” The moving force behind the construction of the building was Mayor Joseph Alioto, who liked to think of San Francisco as a European city. In his mind, the Transamerica Pyramid was to be our Eiffel Tower. A hugely successful antitrust attorney, Alioto directed his powers of persuasion toward the Planning Commission and won approval for construction of the building by a narrow vote. The city even handed over a part of Merchant Street to advance the corporation’s plan.

The eventual size and shape of the building was the result of push and pull compromises. In response to community pressure, the height of the building was reduced to 853 feet, the top 211 feet of which was to be an uninhabited aluminum spire. The triangular shape of the building was, it was hoped, both a way of reducing the potential shadow cast by a blockbuster building and cutting back on the square footage to bring it closer into compliance with the city’s height-to-bulk guidelines.

Those interested in observing the construction of the building can rent a copy of the 2007 film Zodiac that presents a time-lapse computer-generated version of the building as it went up between 1969 and 1971. In fact, the building has been cast in several supporting movie roles, most notably in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which it becomes a visual motif. The Transamerica Corporation was tied to United Artists at the time, the company that made the movie, thus making the pyramid one of the most conspicuous examples of product placement in film history.


An Iconic San Francisco Landmark Is For Sale for the First Time in History

San Francisco. Photo by Michael Lee. Image courtesy of Getty images.

For the first time ever, one of San Francisco's most iconic buildings has just been listed for sale. The Transatlantic Pyramid, the city's unmistakable triangular-shaped skyscraper, has been put up for sale for a reported $600 million by its owner, the Transamerica Corporation, which has owned it since it was first built.

Designed by American architect William Pereira, the 48-story Brutalist-style building stands at 853 feet tall. From its inception in 1972 until 2018, it was the tallest building in San Francisco, but it has since been surpassed by the newly constructed Salesforce Tower. When it was first built, the Transamerica Pyramid was ridiculed for its irregular shape, but over decades it has become one of the Golden City's most iconic buildings, and a defining shape in the city's skyline. Its tapered pyramid figure was requested by Transamerica's then CEO, John Beckett, who opted for a shape that would allow as much light as possible to hit the streets below. At the time, the city's top urban planner called the building's proposal "an inhumane creation," while an architecture critic at The Washington Post called it "a second-class world's fair Space Needle." But decades later, local paper SFGate would go on to write that "with each year that passes, the integrity of Pereira's design grows more compelling. It is a strong architectural vision executed with simplicity and care."

"Right now, San Francisco has a very robust office real-estate market," says Transamerica's chief administrative officer, Jay Orlandi, in a statement, of the company's move to put the iconic structure on the market. In addition to the pyramid, two additional buildings on Sansome Street are included in the deal. Last year the company attempted to sell only part of the building, but when no one stepped forward, the decision was made to list the entire property.


Our history

Almost 200 years of our history in just 160 seconds

Did you know?

  • Predecessor, Bank of Italy was one of the first banks to issue loans to help rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 fire.
  • Transamerica supplied Walt Disney with a loan, which allowed him to complete Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • The Aegon name was created after the merger of two Dutch predecessors: AGO and Ennia, on November 30, 1983.
  • Alette Jacobs, suffragette and one of the first female doctors, donated her time to do physical exams for a low-cost pension fund for labourers - one of Aegon's predecessors.

Contents

San Francisco's first skyscraper was the 218-foot (66 m) Chronicle Building, which was completed in 1890. M. H. de Young, owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, commissioned Burnham and Root to design a signature tower to convey the power of his newspaper. [4] Not to be outdone, de Young's rival, industrialist Claus Spreckels, purchased the San Francisco Call in 1895 and commissioned a tower of his own that would dwarf the Chronicle Building. [5] The 315-foot (96 m) Call Building was completed in 1898 and stood across Market Street from the Chronicle Building. The Call Building (later named the Spreckels Building, and Central Tower today) would remain the city's tallest for nearly a quarter century.

Both steel-framed structures survived the 1906 earthquake, demonstrating that tall buildings could be safely constructed in earthquake country. [6] [7] Other early twentieth-century skyscrapers above 200 feet (61 m) include the Merchants Exchange Building (1903), Humboldt Bank Building (1908), Hobart Building (1914), and Southern Pacific Building (1916). Another skyscraper boom took hold during the 1920s, when several Neo-Gothic and Art Deco high rises, reaching three to four hundred feet (90 to 120 m) in height, were constructed, including the Standard Oil Building (1922), Pacific Telephone Building (1925), Russ Building (1927), Hunter-Dulin Building (1927), 450 Sutter Medical Building (1929), Shell Building (1929), and McAllister Tower (1930). [8]

The Great Depression and World War II halted any further skyscraper construction until the 1950s when the Equitable Life Building (1955) and Crown-Zellerbach Building (1959) were completed. Many of San Francisco's tallest buildings, particularly its office skyscrapers, [9] were completed in a building boom from the late 1960s until the late 1980s. [10] During the 1960s, at least 40 new skyscrapers were built, [11] and the Hartford Building (1965), 44 Montgomery (1967), Bank of America Center (1969), and Transamerica Pyramid (1972) each, in turn, took the title of tallest building in California upon completion. At 853 feet (260 m) tall, the Transamerica Pyramid was one of the most controversial, with critics suggesting that it be torn down even before it was completed. [11]

This surge of construction was dubbed "Manhattanization" by opponents and led to local legislation that set some of the strictest building height limits and regulations in the country. [12] In 1985, San Francisco adopted the Downtown Plan, which slowed development in the Financial District north of Market Street and directed it to the area South of Market around the Transbay Terminal. [13] Over 250 historic buildings were protected from development and developers were required to set aside open space for new projects. [14] To prevent excessive growth and smooth the boom-and-bust building cycle, the Plan included an annual limit of 950,000 square feet (88,000 m 2 ) for new office development, although it grandfathered millions of square feet of proposals already in the development pipeline. In response, voters approved Proposition M in November 1986 that reduced the annual limit to 475,000 square feet (44,100 m 2 ) until the grandfathered square footage was accounted for, which occurred in 1999. [15] [16]

These limits, combined with the early 1990s recession, led to a significant slowdown of skyscraper construction during the late 1980s and 1990s. To guide new development, the city passed several neighborhood plans, such as the Rincon Hill Plan in 2005 and Transit Center District Plan in 2012, which allow taller skyscrapers in certain specific locations in the South of Market area. [17] Since the early 2000s, the city has been undergoing another building boom, with numerous buildings over 400 feet (122 m) proposed, approved, or under construction some, such as the two-towered One Rincon Hill and mixed-use 181 Fremont, have been completed. Multiple skyscrapers have been constructed near the new Transbay Transit Center, including Salesforce Tower, which topped-out in 2017 at a height of 1,070 feet (330 m). [18] [19] This building is the first supertall skyscraper in San Francisco and among the tallest in the United States.

This list ranks San Francisco skyscrapers that stand at least 400 feet (122 m) tall, based on standard height measurement. This includes spires and architectural details but does not include antenna masts. The "Year" column indicates the year in which a building was completed.

  • 2nd-tallest mixed-use residential building west of the Mississippi River. [23][24]
  • Tallest building on the West Coast from 1969 to 1972
  • Tallest building constructed in the city in the 1960s
  • Formerly known as Bank of America Center [25][26][27]
  • Largest office building in San Francisco by floor area.
  • Tallest mid-block skyscraper in San Francisco
  • Tallest building constructed in the city in the 1980s [28][29]
  • The height shown includes flagpoles.
  • Tallest building constructed in the city in the 2000s [30]
  • Fact: The Millennium Tower has tilted up to 2 inches a year and has sunk as much as 3 inches per year
  • Originally known as One Rincon Hill South Tower.
  • Tallest all-residential building in the city. [31][32][33][34]
  • Formerly Standard Oil Buildings and later the Chevron Towers [45][46]
  • Tallest building in California from 1967 to 1969 [51][52]
  • Also known as the Citigroup Center [55][56]
  • Originally known as One Rincon Hill North Tower. [57][58]
  • Also known as Shaklee Terraces and 444 Market Street [59][60]
  • Formerly Pacific Telesis Tower [70][71]
  • Part of the Post Montgomery Center complex
  • Tallest building used exclusively as a hotel in the city [74][75]
  • Also known as Union Bank Building [78][79]
  • Tallest office building constructed in the 2000s [80][81][82][83][84][85]
  • Also known as the Bechtel Building [90][91]
  • Tallest building in California from 1965 to 1967
  • Also known as the Hartford Building [94][95]
  • Also Delta Dental Tower [98][99]
  • Tied as the tallest building constructed in the city in the 1920s [109][110]
  • Tied as the tallest building constructed in the city in the 1920s
  • Originally called the Pacific Telephone Building upon completion [111][112]
  • Also Pacific Gateway Building [125][126]
  • Originally completed as an office tower in 1974 as the California Automobile Association Building. In 2015, it was completely renovated to a residential tower. [141][142][143]

Under construction Edit

This lists buildings that are under construction in San Francisco and are planned to rise at least 100 meters (328 ft). Under construction buildings that have already been topped out are also included.

  • Will be the second tallest building in San Francisco once completed, only behind the Salesforce Tower.
  • Construction started December 2016. [149][150][151]
  • This project contains a 169-room Waldorf Astoria San Francisco hotel on the first 21 floors and approximately 154 residential units on the upper 33 floors. [149][150]
  • 5M project for office space [154][155]
  • Topped out in Feb 2021 [156][157]

Approved Edit

This lists buildings that are approved for construction in San Francisco and are planned to rise at least 100 meters (328 ft).

  • Approved in March 2021 [158][159]
  • The project contains 325,000 sqft of office space, 165 condos and 189 hotel rooms. [160][161]
  • Developer: Crescent Heights
  • Architect: Handel Architects [162][163][164][165]
  • Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz [166][167][168]
  • This project contains 334 residential units from developer Crescent Heights. [169][170][171][172]
  • Along with H1, N2 and M2 towers, this project is set on total 4 acres (1.6 ha) at Fifth and Mission. [173][174][175]
  • Approved in October 2019. [176]
  • Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) [177][178]
  • This project would contain 304 condominiums. [179][180][181]
  • This project includes 69 condominiums over a 255-room hotel. [182][183][184]
  • The ultra-luxury hotel will be named Langham Place. [185][186]
  • Approved in June 2019. [187][188]
  • Developed by Tishman Speyer and designed by Bjarke Ingels Group [189]

Proposed Edit

This lists buildings that are proposed in San Francisco and are planned to rise at least 100 meters (328 ft).

  • This project is also referred to as Treasure Island Tower. It would stand as the tallest building on Treasure Island. [190][191][192][193][194]
  • This project is also referred to as Cathedral Hill Plaza II and Post Street Tower. [195][196][197]
  • The developer proposed a shorter 240 ft tower instead in July 2017. [198]
  • New design proposed in February 2021 [199]
  • Designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill [200]
  • This project is also known as 636-648 4th Street. [201][202][203]

* Table entries with dashes (—) indicate that information regarding building floor counts or dates of completion has not yet been released.

This lists buildings that once held the title of tallest building in San Francisco as well as the current titleholder, the Salesforce Tower.

  1. ^ Based on existing and under construction buildings over 150 meters tall. New York has 333 existing and under construction buildings at least 492 feet (150 m) Chicago has 140 Miami has 62 Houston has 38 Los Angeles has 36 Dallas has 21 San Francisco has 29. Source of Skyline ranking information: SkyscraperPage.com diagrams: New York City, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco (as of April 2021).
  2. ^ Building is said to be somewhere between 450 feet (137 m) and 650 feet (198 m). "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011 . Retrieved September 1, 2010 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ The original Palace Hotel burned down in 1906.
  4. ^ The Call Building was renamed the Spreckels Building in 1913 and was heavily modified in 1938, lowering its height to 299 feet (91 m).
  5. ^ ab The Russ Building, completed in 1927, tied the height of the Pacific Telephone Building. The city therefore had two tallest buildings for a period of 38 years, until the Hartford Building was completed in 1965.
  6. ^ This building was constructed as the Hartford Building, but is now more commonly known as 650 California Street.
  7. ^ This building was constructed as the Bank of America Center, but was renamed to 555 California Street in 2005.
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8. The initial opposition turned into praise for its design

As with most novel things, the Transamerica Pyramid wasn’t received positively initially. It was mockingly referred to as “Pereira’s Prick” during the planning and construction phase which makes it clear that the opposition didn’t know that this shape was used to avoid too much shade in the streets and park below.

Just as the Eiffel Tower was ridiculed in Paris, the critics of the Transamerica Pyramid changed their opinion when they realized that such a special building became a true symbol of the city.

In an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle called “The Pyramid’s steep path from civic eyesore to an icon,” it was described by John King as:

An architectural icon of the best sort, one that fits its location and gets better with age.

John King from the SF Chronicle about the Transamerica Pyramid.

From Columbus Avenue. / Haha169 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.es

The History and Architecture of the Transamerica Pyramid

The Transamerica Pyramid Building in San Francisco, California is somewhat of an icon for the city. As the tallest building in San Francisco, 3rd tallest in California, and the 35th tallest in the United States, this building is special for many reasons. When it was first built, it was meant to be a headquarters for Transamerica. Transamerica eventually moved their HQ out to Baltimore, but the company still kept the building as their logo.

When the Transamerica Pyramid was built in 1972, it was the 8th tallest building in the world. It is crazy to think that the same building is now the 191st tallest building in the world only 40 years later. The building was meant to be 1,150 feet once completed, but was changed to a lower height after complaints about obstructing views of the San Francisco Bay became a concern.

Specifications

Height: 853 Feet

Stories: 48

Completed: 1972

Location: 600 Montgomery Street San Francisco, California


How to Get There

The top of Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower can also be reached via the Filbert Street stairs, passing along private gardens, quaint cottages, and magnificent views. On the other side of the tower are the Greenwich Steps, which let out on Montgomery Street.

To schedule a tour reservation, contact the Permits and Reservations Office at +1 415 831 5500. To access the observation deck at Coit Tower, guests must pay a $6 entrance fee, although seniors and children are offered discounts. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of alternative methods of transportation to the top of the hill, as parking is limited at the landmark.


Watch the video: Cashier destroying Transamerica pyramid and a tower and ferry clock tower and the long bridge u0026 ggb