Salesforce Tower now taller than Transamerica Pyramid [UPDATE: Not so fast…]

Date: 18 Oct 2016

The end of an era

[UPDATE, 10/1/16: Not so fast. Helen Han, marketing director for developer Boston Properties, says their building is not yet as tall as all that. According to Han, the core of Salesforce Tower presently sits at just under 800 feet. Previously, Clark Construction’s field office admin at the site confirmed a figure of 855 feet. No one at Clark has yet returned our messages about the discrepancy. Boston Properties estimates that the building will reach 853 feet in mid October, probably topping 823 feet in the coming week.]

[UPDATE: Ryan Haworth, project executive at Clark Construction, now says that the 855 foot height previously confirmed by the Clark admin is not correct. Both the developer and the construction company agree that Salesforce Tower should actually surpass Transamerica in about two weeks.]

What’s that old saying about how records are made to be broken? Since 1972, the familiar Transamerica Pyramid has been San Francisco’s tallest building, displacing previous champ 555 California Street by over 70 feet.

In the 44 years since, no local building has soared to sufficient heights to threaten the pointy king on Montgomery Street’s crown, but its days on the throne have been numbered ever since Salesforce Towerbroke ground. It was only a question of when the inevitable would happen as floors stacked higher and higher on First Street.

It turns out the fateful day was today. Or maybe yesterday. When we asked, management at the site couldn’t quite remember when they passed the relevant mark.

Nevertheless, they have confirmed that the core of the soaring spire above what will soon be the Transbay Transit Center hit and then swiftly cleared Transamerica’s 853 foot mark this week, now standing 58 stories and 855 feet. An eagle-eyed Redditor first observed the milestone, noting that the diminishing size of the floorplans at the 50th story make it relatively easy to count how far up they’ve gotten by now.

When completed, Transamerica was the eighth tallest building in the entire United States. Today it’s the 38th (again, counting Salesforce), and there will soon be even more high-rises looking down on it, including one more in San Francisco (Oceanwide Center). Still, new buildings will have to work long and hard to ever top the pyramid in terms of influence and iconic prominence. Size isn’t everything, after all.


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