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Facts About the Transamerica Pyramid

A sleek tower helps define the San Francisco skyline.

Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Daniel Schwen/Wikipedia
Photo caption
The Transamerica Pyramid defines the San Francisco skyline.

Even if it weren't the tallest building in San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid would still be a striking presence on the skyline. Its unusual design drew both praise and ridicule as it rose between the city's Financial District and the cafés of North Beach nearly 40 years ago. Today, the sleek 48-story tower rivals the Golden Gate Bridge as a symbol of the City by the Bay.

When the pyramid’s three years of construction began in 1969, signs around the site proclaimed it a San Francisco landmark since 1972.

Pyramid architect William Pereira shared an Academy Award for best special effects for his work on Reap the Wild Wind (1942).

The pyramid’s nine-foot-thick foundation required a continuous 24-hour concrete pour.

The fifth floor is the largest, with 21,025 square feet, while the 48th floor covers only 2,025.

Cleaning all 3,678 of the building's windows takes roughly two months.

Aegon NV, a Dutch insurance company, acquired the Transamerica Corporation in 1999 but has kept the building’s original moniker.

The Transamerica Pyramid is located at 600 Montgomery St. in San Francisco. The building has no public access or visitor facilities. For more information, visit

This article was first published in March 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.