Our love (more like an obsession) for commercial buildings and San Francisco Bay Area runs deep at Pyramid Window Cleaning. Many SF landmarks have withstood the test of time despite all the new, hip construction projects of present-day SF. As the old mixes in with the new, we want to give praise to the buildings that have claimed their space in a morphing city.

1.450 Sutter

Until the 1960’s, this beauty was deemed one of the tallest buildings in San Francisco. The 26-floor, 400 ft tower was designed by architect Timothy Pflueger with Mayan inspired designed panels and walls and was completed in 1929. According to 450 Sutter’s website, the building was conceptualized by an eccentric dentist, Francis Edward Morgan Jr, who dreamed of a building medical and dental use. Today, the building is mostly used for doctors and dentists.

2. Flood Building

The famous 1906 earthquake proved to be no match for the Flood Building (completed in 1904), as it was one of the few that survived. In 1951, during wartime, the building was in talks of being demolished and replaced with Woolworth’s Department Store. The Federal Government stepped in by using the space for war-time agencies like Civil Defense offices and Price Stabilization. According to the Flood Building website, a construction ban was enforced for its participation in the Korean War.

3. 555 California

Previously known as Bank Of America Center, this famous building was completed in 1969. It’s design used thousands of bay windows to increase rent value and attract tenants. (As a window cleaning company, this feature pretty much makes our industrial heart melt.) The 52 story building was also used in the feature films, Sister Act and Dirty Harry! Catch Scorpio outside on the roof with his sniper rifle!

4. The Phelan Building

The 1st Phelan building succumbed to the infamous1906 fire. It was originally built in 1886 and named after James D. Phelan, a former mayor of San Francisco (1897-1902) who later served as a California Senator (1915-1921).

5. Mills Building

The most remarkable part of San Francisco’s 2nd skyscraper is the draped white-marble Montgomery entrance and lobby. Through Michael de Young, the founder of the San Francisco Chronicle, talked Chicago architectural firm Burham and Root into design the Mills Building and was completed in 1891 with further extensions in 1914 and 1918.

6. Hallidie Building

This is one of, if not the most distinguished and detailed building in San Francisco. Opening in 1917, the glass curtain building claimed its space with its brilliant detail. The designer Willis Polk wanted to create something unlike anything else he had done in San Francisco. The sheer glass and golden lace detail was something that had not been seen yet in San Francisco.

7. Transamerica Pyramid

The Transamerica Pyramid remains the most iconic office building and takes the throne for the most well known. The building is one of the younger babies to open in 1972. San Francisco had already been sprinkled with more tall towers, but none like the Transamerica Pyramid which was designed to allow more natural sunlight. It is also one of the tallest buildings in San Francisco at 853ft (compared to 1,200 ft Salesforce Tower).

8. Russ Building

The Neo-Gothic design of the Russ Building has made it a head turner in the heart of Financial District. It was also the first building in San Francisco to have an indoor parking garage. The Russ Building was able to make its mark in the city because of its design contrasting the surrounding contemporary looks.

9. Hobart Building

Once again, Willis Polk was also responsible for the neoclassical design with terracotta exterior and Italian marble interiors. It also uses fully operable windows which were a rarity for its time. The Hobart Building had its 100 year anniversary 4 years ago (opened in 1914)!

10. 140 Montgomery

What is now known as the Yelp building was originally the first high-rise South of Market Street along with the Russ Building. Opening in 1925, 140 Montgomery is known internationally for its neo-Gothic design and eight terracotta eagles perched at the crown of the building. 140 Montgomery also has made history for hosting Winston Churchill who made one of the first transatlantic phone calls from within.

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