12 Impressive Salesforce Tower Facts

Until 2018, a skyscraper with the shape of a pyramid was the tallest building in San Francisco. The Transamerica Pyramid held this record since 1972 and was finally surpassed in height by an equally impressive skyscraper.

In this post, you’ll discover a list of some of the most interesting Salesforce Tower facts, a fascinating landmark in San Francisco that dominates the city’s skyline!

1. It’s located in a district of Downtown San Francisco

The Salesforce Tower is located on 415 Mission Street in the South of Market District in Downtown San Francisco. This district was named as such because it’s bounded by Market Street, one of the main avenues in the city.

Other landmarks in the area included the Transamerica Pyramid to the northwest and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which is located just to the east of the building.

salesforce tower bay bridge
View of the Bay Bridge from the tower / Source

2. It’s the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco by quite a distance

The skyscraper has a roof height of 970 feet (296 meters) and a total height of 1,070 feet (326 meters). This makes it the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco by quite a distance because the second-tallest building, the Transamerica Pyramid, only stands 853 feet (260 meters) tall.

One of the most remarkable Salesforce Tower facts is that it’s also the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi River as only the Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles is higher at 1,100 feet (335 meters).

Without the additional spire of the skyscraper in Los Angeles it would actually be the tallest as well!

salesforce tower sunset
The tower standing out at sunset / Source

3. It’s the centerpiece of a major urban redevelopment plan

The tower is considered to be the centerpiece of the San Francisco Transbay redevelopment plan. This plan, which is now referred to as the Salesforce redevelopment plan, completely reshaped the dilapidated area and features office, retail, and residential spaces, as well as a transportation hub.

At the foot of the tower, there’s also a new park which is referred to as the Transbay Park, a lovely area in the middle of Downtown San Francisco.

Transbay park and bus bridge
Transbay Park from the tower / Fullmetal 2887 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

4. It was the final design of a renowned Argentinian architect

The design of the tower was awarded by developer Hines Interests Limited Partnership to one of the most renowned architects in the world, the Argentine-American César Pelli (1926-2019). It was unfortunately the final structure he designed that was completed in his lifetime.

Perhaps his most famous work is the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, one of the most fascinating structures ever built in the world!

César Pelli
César Pelli / Casa Rosada / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

5. Its design was inspired by the tallest skyscraper in South America

The design of the tower was inspired by another of Pelli’s famous works, the Gran Torre Santiago in the capital of Chile. This remains the tallest skyscraper in South America until today with a height of 984 feet (300 meters).

The tower features a glass and steel curtain wall that was built around a structural steel frame. The core of the tower was constructed with reinforced concrete to provide stability.

Gran Torre Santiago
Gran Torre Santiago / Bjørn Christian Tørrissen / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

6. A lot of precautions were taken to protect it from earthquakes

San Francisco is prone to earthquakes, and this type of natural calamity completely flattened the city in 1906. That’s why extreme precautions were taken in order to avoid a catastrophe in case another earthquake hits the city.

The support of the tower consists of 41 piles with a length of up to 300 feet (91 meters) that were driven into the bedrock below. These are stabilized with a huge foundation math of 14 feet (4.3 meters) thick.

Pouring the concrete for this huge foundation took a grand total of 18 hours, making it one of the biggest and longest concrete pours in history.

salesforce tower under construction
The tower under construction / Wiki Commons

7. The site used to be occupied by a 1939 transit terminal

In order for the construction of the tower to start, another building had to be demolished. That was the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, a building that was constructed in 1939.

This building, which was originally constructed as a train station but turned into a bus depot in 1959, was demolished in 2011 in order to make way for the new skyscraper.

Transbay Terminal
Transbay Terminal / Source

8. It took nearly 5 years to build the tower at a staggering cost

The ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the building was held on March 27, 2013, shortly followed by preparation work. Real construction didn’t start until the end of that year.

A year later on April 11, 2014, the project was renamed the Salesforce Tower as the company announced they would become the main tenant of the building, leasing a total of 714,000 square feet (66,300 square meters).

The tower has 61 floors and a total of 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 square meters) of office space. The total cost to build this immense structure was $1.1 billion USD!

salesforce tower in April 2017
The tower in April 2017 / Jim Heaphy / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

9. Only 3% of the office space was still available upon completion

Because about half of the office space was already rented by the main tenant of the tower, the pressure to acquire some exclusive office space was increased. That’s why many companies jumped on the offer, resulting in 97% of the total space being rented out before the tower even opened!

Apart from Salesforce, other tenants of the available space upon completion included Covington & Burling, WeWork, Bain & Company, Accenture, McDermott Will & Emery, and Hellman & Friedman.

Salesforce tower street level
The tower at street level / Wiki Commons

10. The building received a prestigious award in 2019

The design of the tower is pretty impressive and this has been officially recognized by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an international body focused in tall buildings all around the world.

On April 10, 2019, the tower received the recognition as “Best Tall Building Worldwide,” a remarkable award for an amazing building!

Salesforce tower at night
The tower at night / Eric Johnson / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

11. The crown of the tower features an electronic sculpture

One of the most amazing Salesforce Tower facts is that the crown of the building isn’t just an amazing addition to the San Francisco skyline, but also features a nine-story electronic sculpture.

This remarkable piece of art is called “Day for Night” and was created by San Francisco-based artist Jim Campbell. It displays abstract footage of the city at night that was filmed during the day.

Upon activation on May 21, 2018, it as considered the tallest piece of art in the world!

12. Its observation deck offers stunning views of the city

The top floor of the skyscraper is referred to as the “Ohana Floor” and features an observation deck. For people who register in advance, there’s an option to visit this deck on a public tour.

Obviously, this is without question the most amazing place to get stunning views of the wonderful city of San Francisco and its surroundings!

Salesforce tower observation deck
View from the tower’s observation deck / Source