Crown Zellerbach Building


Date:
1957
Architects:
Hertzka & Knowles
Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
Neighborhood:
Financial District, San Francisco
Address:
1 Bush Street, San Francisco, California
Current Name:
One Bush Plaza
Current Use:
Office
Current Condition:
Excellent
Status:
Listed


Built as the headquarters of the Crown Zellerbach Corporation, this complex includes an office tower and adjacent low-rise pavilion, set at the center of an intricately designed plaza. Instantly compared to the Lever House in New York City, also by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, it was cited by San Franciscans as the signature building for the downtown future. The twenty-story office tower occupies the east side of the triangular site, with the circular pavilion at the southeast corner. A sunken plaza and undulating landscape elements occupy the remainder of the site. The office tower features an aluminum-framed curtain wall, with light-green tinted windows alternating with darker green spandrel glass. At street level, a glass lobby set on a plinth above the sunken plaza appears to float between columns clad in dark green serpentine. The plaza is a Japanese-influenced composition of dark grey river rock and slate horizontal surfaces and walks, sloped planting areas and a sequence of broad, irregularly curving limestone steps leading up to Market Street.

Image credits:
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library


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