- Financial District, San Francisco
- Building Type:
- 601 California Street, San Francisco, California
- Current Name:
- 601 California Street
- Current Use:
- Current Condition:
- Not Listed
One of San Francisco’s early crop of skyscrapers originally towered over California Street with its 22 stories in the 60’s but nowadays seems petite compared to its hulking neighbor, the Bank of America tower.. It still cuts a dashing silhouette in the Financial District with its sharp black and white banding and its decorative bronze-colored hat which appears to hover above the top floor.
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
The upper 18 floors of the building cantilever out on four sides above the four story base, creating a situation where the floors are bigger than the parcel it is built on (each floor is 12,600 square feet and the building lot is 10,000 square feet.) .. The original building owners purchased air rights from the city on the south and west sides to ensure no buildings would be constructed there and allow for this horizontal expansion. To avoid the complication of cantilevering the corners in two directions, the architect snipped the four corners, creating its distinctive re-entrant corners, which are sheathed in black stone. These elements were designed to be vertical air conditioning ducts, mounted on the surface to free up interior rentable space.
Its sleek and its sixties. The alternating gray glass windows with quartz-covered concrete spandrel create a vivid façade of horizontal banding. The bronze anodized aluminum cornice/roof element is both strange and appealing. Compare this roof line to William Wurster’s Golden Gateway hi-rise apartment slabs. Both architects were giving their towers a classic Bay-Region detail; the broad overhanging roof.