History

When plans for the new Transamerica Corporation’s headquarters in downtown San Francisco were unveiled in 1968, there was public outcry. Many critics claimed an obelisk-shaped skyscraper didn’t belong in their city.

But today, it’s impossible to imagine the San Francisco skyline without the grace and symmetry of The Transamerica Pyramid at Transamerica Pyramid Center. A source of great pride to San Franciscans, The Transamerica Pyramid has become an icon of San Francisco recognized worldwide, along with the city’s famous cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • 1969
  • 1972
  • 1989
  • 1989
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2018
  • The Concept Is Created

    Transamerica Pyramid was designed by William Pereira & Associates to be an architectural and environmental masterpiece, as the unique pyramid shape allows natural light and fresh air to filter down. Pictured above is Pereira (far right), then chairman and CEO of Transamerica Corporation John “Jack” Beckett (second to right) and Mayor Alioto (far left).
  • Tenants Take Residence

    Construction was completed, and first occupancy commenced. For the next two years, the 853-foot-high Pyramid (260 meters) was the tallest building in the United States west of the Mississippi River. It is now Northern California’s second tallest building.
  • The Pyramid Defies Nature

    The 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake shook the Pyramid for more than a minute. Although, the top story swayed almost a foot from side to side, the building was undamaged, and no serious injuries occurred. The structural performance can be attributed to impeccable structural engineering, designed to withstand tremors in a seismically active area.
  • Transamerica Corporation Retains Its Legacy

    Unrelated to the earthquake, as part of a strategic self-directed reorganization, Transamerica Corp. relocated its headquarters from San Francisco. However, Transamerica Corp. still maintains their presence as a tenant of the building to this day, and continues to use the building’s image as its registered trademark logo.
  • AEGON Takes Transamerica To New Heights

    Transamerica Corporation was acquired by AEGON USA, Inc. a subsidiary of AEGON N.V. They later sold a portion of the operations; however, Transamerica Corp.’s financial service products are still marketed worldwide under the Transamerica brand, and the company continues to use the Transamerica Pyramid logo as its registered trademark.
  • Security Becomes Top Priority

    The observation deck on the 27th floor was closed to public access and the entrance inside the building was limited to tenants and their approved guests.
  • Environmental Sustainability Acknowledged

    The Transamerica Pyramid was awarded LEED® Gold status by the US Green Building Council for its practices in environmental sustainability including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. A Co-Generation plant was installed and produces 70 percent of the Pyramid’s energy.
  • Setting Building Standards

    The Transamerica Pyramid receives “Outstanding Building of the Year” Award from BOMA based on its training and building standards, emergency preparedness and security standards, environmental and regulatory compliance programs, energy conservation, tenant relations and positive community impact.
  • The Pyramid Receives Top Designation

    The Transamerica Pyramid achieves highest level for LEED® certification: LEED Platinum, from the USGBC based on significant increase in Energy Star® ratings from 2009-2010.
  • The Iconic Tradition Continues

    Transamerica Pyramid becomes the second tallest building in San Francisco. It remains a world-class tower, housing more than 50 prominent firms employing about 1,500 people. Surrounded by luxury hotels, restaurants/clubs, galleries, shopping, and the colorful neighborhoods of Jackson Square, Chinatown and North Beach, it is truly the centerpiece of the City of San Francisco.