SF Skyline

The History Of San Francisco Skyline

The U.S. city of San Francisco, California, is the site of over 410 high-rises,[1] 44 of which stand taller than 400 feet (122 m). The tallest building in the city is the Transamerica Pyramid, which rises 853 ft (260 m) and is currently the 31st-tallest building in the United States.[2] Another famous San Francisco skyscraper is 555 California Street, which is the city’s second tallest building. It is also known as Bank of America Center.[3]
Many of San Francisco’s tallest buildings, particularly its office skyscrapers,[4] were completed in a massive building boom that occurred from the late 1960s until the late 1980s.[5] This boom was dubbed a “Manhattanization wave” by residents of the city, and led to local legislation passed that set in some of the strictest building height limit requirements in the country.[6] This led to a slowdown of skyscraper construction during the 1990s, but construction of taller buildings has resumed recently as the building height requirements have been relaxed and overlooked in light of recent economic activity. The city is currently going through a second boom, with 34 buildings over 400 feet (122 m) proposed, approved, or under construction in the city. San Francisco boasts 21 skyscrapers that rise at least 492 feet (150 m) in height. Overall, San Francisco’s skyline is ranked (based upon existing and under construction buildings over 492 feet (150 m) tall) second in the Pacific coast region (after Los Angeles) and seventh in the United States, after New York City, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas.[A]
Due to a housing shortage and the subsequent real estate boom, the city’s strict building height code has been relaxed over the years, and there have been many skyscrapers proposed for construction in the city; some, such as the One Rincon Hill South Tower, have already been completed. Several other taller buildings are proposed in connection with the Transbay Terminal redevelopment project. The San Francisco Transbay development consists of 10 skyscrapers set to rise over 400 feet (122 m) tall, with three of the towers scheduled to rise over 1,000 feet (305 m).[7] If constructed, these towers would be the first buildings in San Francisco to qualify as supertalls, and would be among the tallest in the United States. Many other tall proposals have been submitted as well, including the Sun Tower, which is planned to rise on Treasure Island.[8]