Transamerica Pyramid & Redwood Park

sights / Architecture

Transamerica Pyramid & Redwood Park information

San Francisco , USA
600 Montgomery St
Getting there
Muni: Embarcadero
Bart: Embarcadero
More information
Opening hours
9am-6pm Mon-Fri
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The defining feature of San Francisco's skyline is this 1972 pyramid, built atop the wreck of a whaling ship abandoned in the Gold Rush. A half-acre redwood grove sprouted out front, on the site of Mark Twain's favorite saloon and the newspaper office where Sun Yat-sen drafted his Proclamation of the Republic of China. Although these transplanted redwoods have shallow roots, their intertwined root network allows them to reach dizzying heights. Mark Twain couldn't have scripted a more perfect metaphor for San Francisco.

Architect William Pereira's triangular structure allows light to reach the trees and narrow streets beneath the Pyramid. But at first, critics claimed Pereira's Hollywood special-effects background was too obvious in his 853ft rocket-ship design. Today San Francisco would be unthinkable without the Pyramid – Godzilla respectfully left it intact in the 2014 remake of the Japanese sci-fi classic. Free entry to the lobby visitors' center is possible weekdays, but only employees can use the elevators. Since September 11, the top-floor viewing deck has been closed for 'security reasons.'