The Transamerica Pyramid is the second-tallest skyscraper in San Francisco skyline at 853 feet and has stood since 1972. Despite its namesake, the building is no longer the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation as it moved its U.S. headquarters to Baltimore, Maryland. The building was designed by architect William Pereira and built by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company. Construction started in 1969 and was completed three years later. On completion in 1972 it was the eighth tallest building in the world.
Backstory and Context
Originally commissioned by Transamerica CEO John Beckett, the building's 48 floors of retail and office space sits on the historic Montgomery Block. The construction, which lasted from 1969 to 1972, was overseen by San Francisco-based contractor Dinwiddie Construction (now Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company). Transamerica moved its headquarters to the Pyramid Building from across the street, where it had been based in the Old Fugazi Building.
Although the Transamerica Corporation's headquarters is no longer at the Pyramid Building, it is still associated with the company and is depicted in the company's logo. It faced opposition during planning and construction and was sometimes referred to by detractors as "Pereira's Prick".From 1972 to 1074 the building was the tallest skyscraper west of Chicago until it was surpassed by the Aon Center in Los Angeles.
The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco until Salesforce Tower officially completes in 2018.
History of the Transamerica Pyramid. SF Gate. December 27, 2009. Accessed May 13, 2017. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/History-of-the-Transamerica-Pyramid-3277563.php.
A Brief History Of The Transamerica Building In San Francisco. Culture Trip. Accessed May 13, 2017. https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/california/articles/the-san-francisco-factor-a-brief-history-of-the-transamerica-building/.