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List of tallest buildings in San Francisco

Skyline of San Francisco, showing the Transamerica Pyramid on the left, 345 California Center in the center and 555 California Street on the right

The United States city of San Francisco, California, has at least 440 high-rises,[1] 45 of which are taller than 400 feet (122 m). The tallest is the Transamerica Pyramid, which rises 853 ft (260 m) and as of July 2014 is the 37th-tallest building in the United States.[2] The city's second tallest building is 555 California Street, formerly known as Bank of America Center.[3]

San Francisco has 22 skyscrapers that rise at least 492 feet (150 m). Its skyline is ranked (based upon existing and under construction buildings over 492 feet (150 m) tall) second in the Pacific coast region (after Los Angeles) and sixth in the United States, after New York City, Chicago, Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles.[note 1]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Tallest buildings 2
  • Tallest under construction, approved and proposed 3
    • Under construction 3.1
    • Approved 3.2
    • Proposed 3.3
  • Timeline of tallest buildings 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

The Chronicle Building, 690 Market Street, was San Francisco's first skyscraper upon completion in 1890.

San Francisco's first skyscraper was the 218-foot (66 m) Chronicle Building 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.

The Call Building, 703 Market Street, was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River when constructed in 1898.

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 m2) 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 m2) 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 near halt 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, have been completed. Several taller buildings are under construction in connection with the new Transbay Transit Center, including Salesforce Tower, which broke ground in 2013 and is planned to rise to 1,070 feet (330 m).[18] When completed this building will be the first supertall skyscraper in San Francisco and among the tallest in the United States.

San Francisco skyline from Treasure Island.

Tallest buildings

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.

Rank Name Image Height
ft (m)
Floors Year Coordinates Notes
1 Transamerica Pyramid 853 (260) 48 1972
2 555 California Street 779 (237) 52 1969
3 345 California Center 695 (212) 48 1986
  • Tallest mid-block skyscraper in San Francisco
  • Tallest building constructed in the city in the 1980s[23][24]
  • The height shown includes flagpoles.
4 Millennium Tower 645 (197) 58 2009
  • Tallest mixed-use residential building west of the Mississippi River.[25]
  • Tallest building constructed in the city in the 2000s[26]
5 One Rincon Hill South Tower 641 (195) 60 2008
  • Tallest all-residential building in the city.[27][28][29][30]
6 50 Fremont Center 600 (183) 43 1985 [31][32]
101 California Street 600 (183) 48 1982 [33][34]
8 Market Center 573 (175) 40 1975
  • Also known as Chevron Tower[35][36]
9 Four Embarcadero Center 570 (174) 45 1982 [37][38]
10 One Embarcadero Center 569 (173) 45 1971 [39][40]
11 44 Montgomery Street 565 (172) 43 1967
  • Tallest building in California from 1967 to 1969[41][42]
12 Spear Tower 564 (172) 43 1976 [43][44]
13 One Sansome Street 550 (168) 41 1984
  • Also known as the Citigroup Center[45][46]
14 One Rincon Hill North Tower 541 (165) 49 2014 [47]
15 One Front Street 538 (164) 38 1979
  • Also known as Shaklee Terraces and 444 Market Street[48][49]
16 First Market Tower 529 (161) 39 1973 [50][51]
McKesson Plaza 529 (161) 38 1969 [52][53]
18 425 Market Street 525 (160) 38 1973 [54][55]
19 Montgomery Tower 500 (152) 38 1982 [56][57]
20 333 Bush Street 495 (151) 43 1986 [58][59]
21 Hilton San Francisco Tower I 493 (150) 46 1971
  • Tallest building used exclusively as a hotel in the city[60][61]
22 Pacific Gas & Electric Building 492 (150) 34 1971 [62][63]
23 50 California Street 487 (148) 37 1972 [64][65]
555 Mission Street 487 (148) 33 2008
  • Tallest office building constructed in the 2000s[66][67][68][69][70][71]
25 St. Regis Museum Tower 484 (148) 42 2005 [72][73]
26 100 Pine Center 476 (145) 33 1972 [74][75]
45 Fremont Street 476 (145) 34 1978
  • Also known as the Bechtel Building[76][77]
28 333 Market Street 472 (144) 33 1979 [78][79]
29 650 California Street 466 (142) 34 1964
  • Tallest building in California from 1965 to 1967
  • Also known as the Hartford Building[80][81]
30 100 First Plaza 447 (136) 27 1988 [82][83]
31 One California 438 (134) 32 1969 [84][85]
32 San Francisco Marriott Marquis 436 (133) 39 1989 [86][87]
33 Russ Building 435 (133) 32 1927
  • Tied as the tallest building constructed in the city in the 1920s[88][89]
140 New Montgomery 435 (133) 26 1925
  • Tied as the tallest building constructed in the city in the 1920s
  • Originally called the Pacific Telephone Building upon completion[90][91]
35 The Infinity II 420 (128) 41 2009 [92]
JPMorgan Chase Building 420 (128) 31 2002 [93][94]
The Paramount 420 (128) 40 2002 [95][96]
38 Providian Financial Building 417 (127) 30 1981 [97][98]
39 Three Embarcadero Center 413 (126) 31 1977 [99][100]
Two Embarcadero Center 413 (126) 30 1974 [101][102]
41 595 Market Street 410 (125) 30 1979 [103][104]
42 123 Mission Street 407 (124) 29 1986 [105][106]
43 101 Montgomery 404 (123) 28 1984 [107][108]
Embarcadero West 404 (123) 34 1989 [109][110]
45 100 Van Ness Avenue 400 (122) 29 1974
  • This building is undergoing conversion from office to residential use
  • Formerly known as the California Automobile Association Building[111][112][113]

Tallest under construction, approved and proposed

Under construction

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.

Name Height
ft (m)
Floors Year
(est.)
Coordinates Notes
Salesforce Tower 1,070 (326) 61 2017 This building is under construction as part of the San Francisco Transbay development. It will be the tallest building in San Francisco once completed.[18][114][115]
181 Fremont Street 802 (245) 54 2016 Mixed-use building with 33 floors of office space and 68 residential units on the upper 15 floors.[116][117][118]
350 Mission Street 455 (139) 30 2015 This entire building has been leased by Salesforce.com.[119]
LUMINA I 450 (137) 43 2015 This building is also known as 201 Folsom Street, Tower I.[120][121]
399 Fremont Street 440 (134) 42 2015 Entitled for 452 residential units.[122][123]
340 Fremont Street 440 (134) 40 2015 This project is entitled for 338 residential units.[124][125]
45 Lansing Street 430 (131) 39 2015 Entitled for 320 residential units.[126][127]
LUMINA II 400 (122) 38 2015 This building is also known as 201 Folsom Street, Tower II.[128]
100 Van Ness Avenue 400 (122) 29 2015 This building is undergoing a conversion into residential use and a re-skin of the exterior.[111][112][113]
535 Mission Street 378 (116) 27 2014 This building has topped out.[129][130]
222 Second Street 370 (113) 26 2016 This building has topped out.[131][132]

Approved

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

Name Height*
ft (m)
Floors Year*
(est.)
Coordinates Notes
41 Tehama Street 380 (116) 35 Approved for up to 398 dwelling units.[133]

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

Proposed

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

Name Height
ft (m)
Floors* Year*
(est.)
Coordinates Notes
50 First Street Tower 1 910 (277) 59 [134]
Palace Hotel Residential Tower 669 (204) 60 This project is also known as Two New Montgomery.[135][136]
50 First Street Tower 2 605 (184) 50 [134]
Transbay Block 5 605 (184) 43 Project will be commercial office.[137][138]
Transbay Block 8 575 (175) 56 Approximately 740 units from developer Related California and architecture firm OMA.[139][140]
706 Mission Street 510 (155) 47 2017-8 This project would contain at least 145 condominiums and an expanded Mexican Museum.[141][142]
5M Project Residential Tower 470 (143) ~40 This project contains office and residential on 4 acres (1.6 ha) at Fifth and Mission.[143]
Sun Tower[note 2] 450 (137) This project is also referred to as Treasure Island Tower. It would stand as the tallest building on Treasure Island.[144][145][146][147][148]
524 Howard Street 450 (137) 44 Proposed 285 residential units from developer Crescent Heights.[149][150][151]
One Van Ness 445 (136) 37 This project would contain 258 condominiums.[152]
Transbay Block 9 440 (134) 43 2016 This project would contain 563 residential units on Folsom Street between First and Essex streets.[153] It is also known as 500 Folsom Street.[154] [155]
5M Project Office Tower 430 (131) ~30 This project contains office and residential on 4 acres (1.6 ha) at Fifth and Mission.[143]
1481 Post Street 410 (125) 36 This project is also referred to as Cathedral Hill Plaza II and Post Street Tower.[156][157][158]
Transbay Block 1 400 (122) 40 2018 Proposed 390 condominiums from developer Tishman Speyer and Studio Gang Architects.[159] It is also known as 100 Folsom Street.[160]
10 South Van Ness 400 (122) 38 [161]
75 Howard Street 355 (109) 31 [162][163]

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

Timeline of tallest buildings

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

The original Palace Hotel stood as San Francisco's tallest building from 1875 until 1890.
Name Street address Years as tallest Height
ft (m)
Floors Notes / Reference
Montgomery Block 628 Montgomery Street 1853–1854 ~50 (15) 4 [164][165][166]
Old Saint Mary's Cathedral 660 California Street 1854–1875 90 (27) 1 [167][168][169][170]
Palace Hotel 2 New Montgomery Street 1875–1890 120 (37) 7 [note 3][171][172]
Chronicle Building 690 Market Street 1890–1898 218 (66) 10 [173]
Call Building 703 Market Street 1898–1922 315 (96) 15 [note 4][174]
Standard Oil Building 225 Bush Street 1922–1925 328 (100) 22 [175]
Pacific Telephone Building 140 New Montgomery Street 1925–1965 435 (133) 26 [note 5][90]
Russ Building 235 Montgomery Street 1927–1965 435 (133) 31 [note 5][88]
Hartford Building 650 California Street 1965–1967 466 (142) 33 [note 6][80]
44 Montgomery Street 44 Montgomery Street 1967–1969 565 (172) 43 [41]
Bank of America Center 555 California Street 1969–1972 779 (237) 52 [note 7][21]
Transamerica Pyramid 600 Montgomery Street 1972–present 853 (260) 48 [19]

Notes

  1. ^ New York has 257 existing and under construction buildings at least 492 feet (150 m); Chicago has 122; Miami has 43; Houston has 34; Los Angeles has 26; Dallas has 20; San Francisco has 24. Source of Skyline ranking information: SkyscraperPage.com diagrams: New York City, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco (as of July 2014).
  2. ^ Building is said to be somewhere between 450 feet (137 m) and 650 feet (198 m). [1]
  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. ^ a b 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.

References

General
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External links

  • Diagram of San Francisco skyscrapers on SkyscraperPage
  • The skyscrapers of San Francisco Video detailing the San Francisco skyline.
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