Transamerica Pyramid

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The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest and possibly the most recognizable skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline. Although the building no longer houses the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation, it is still strongly associated with the company and is depicted in the company's logo. Designed by architect William Pereira, at 260 m (850 ft), upon completion it was among the five tallest buildings in the world.[4]

Contents

History

Built on the location of the historic Montgomery Block, it has a structural height of 260 m (850 ft) and contains 48 floors of retail and office space. Construction began in 1969 and finished in 1972. Transamerica moved its headquarters to the new building from across the street, where it used to be based in another flatiron-shaped building now occupied by the Church of Scientology of San Francisco.[citation needed]

Although the tower no longer serves as the Transamerica Corporation headquarters, it is still strongly associated with the company and is depicted in the company's logo. The building is evocative of San Francisco and has become one of the many symbols of the city.[5] Designed by architect William Pereira, it faced considerable opposition during its planning and construction, and was sometimes referred to by detractors as "Pereira's Prick".[6]

The Transamerica Pyramid was the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi from 1972 to 1974 surpassing the then Bank of America Center. It was then later surpassed by the Aon Center in Los Angeles.

The building is considered to have been the intended target of a foiled terrorist attack, involving the hijacking of airplanes as part of the Bojinka plot, which was foiled in 1995.[7]

In 1999, Transamerica was acquired by Dutch insurance company AEGON. When the non-insurance operations of Transamerica were later sold to GE Capital, AEGON retained the building as an investment.[5]

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