Transamerica Pyramid Closeup

Financial District

Transamerica Pyramid

The most famous and recognizable building in the Financial District, the Transamerica tower, shaped like a pyramid, has amazed travelers for years. But what’s this building all about? How did the Transamerica Pyramid come into existence?

Designed and debuted in 1972 on the historic Montgomery Block after 3 years of construction, the 853-foot structure became the world’s 8th tallest building upon completion. San Francisco, in fact, named the building a landmark even before construction started.

I guess officials figured — how many other pyramid-shaped buildings are there? And it’s remained a San Francisco landmark ever since.

Transamerica Pyramid Base

Random Transamerica Pyramid Facts

  • 48 floors of retail and office space
  • 3,700 hundred windows (which pivot 360 degrees to clean from the inside) and require one month to wash
  • The “wings” you see on the 29th floor and up are actually the elevator shafts.
  • A virtual observatory is available online, 24 hours a day.

Not bad for a building built in 1972, right?

Pyramid Windows

If you’re around the Financial District and want to photograph a one-of-a-kind landmark, walk to the Transamerica Pyramid for your chance. It’s a short skip from Chinatown.

And don’t forget to spend time in Redwood Park, either, a special cluster of Redwood trees planted at the base of the pyramid for some added serenity to the normally hectic downtown San Francisco atmosphere.

Enjoy yourself. There aren’t many places in the world you can relish the view of a pyramid-shaped building in the middle of a downtown metropolis.

Frog Pond

How Do I Find the Transamerica Pyramid?

  • The building is easy to find. Located in the Financial District, all you need to do is spot the triangle-shaped building and walk toward it. The corner of Montgomery and Clay Street is where you’ll find it on a map.
  • Use public transportation routes 1, 10, 12, 20, 41, the California cable car line, the underground K, L, M, T, J and N (to the Montgomery Street Station) and the F-Line. A short walk is required after most of these transportation routes.
  • To reach the Transamerica Pyramid from Union Square you can ride bus 30 to Chinatown, followed by a short walk, or take any form of BART/ underground muni to the Montgomery Street (followed by a walk). A stroll without public transportation will take around 20 minutes.

Transamerica Pyramid

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

The Transamerica Pyramid is an interesting building to see up close. Redwood Park, an open space located at the base of the skyscraper, includes a frog pond, benches and an escape from the mayhem of the Financial District. A gift shop for pyramid merchandise is located inside the southern side of the tower.

Location of the Transamerica Pyramid