The Best Building in San Francisco

The Atlantic Cities has a nice look at the history of the best building in San Francisco, the Bell System building, though most people just call it 140 New Montgomery.

Yeah, it’s got Yelp and a bunch of other tech (and non-tech) companies. As the name suggests, it also housed Bell (then Pacific Bell) telephone originally. But that’s not why it’s the best building in SF.

Old East coast architecture is one of those things I miss from back home and the West coast has so few examples of it, let alone good ones or ones that survived various earthquakes. The Bell System building has a fantastic arched entryway, a stone (and terracotta) exterior that reaches for the sky and a crown with eagles that fits in with that building from the end of Ghostbusters.

It’s a little hard to find in today’s San Francisco skyline but you can be on the lookout for the strange F-shaped floor plan, usually visible in photos taken from the south or southwest. Otherwise it tends to disappear behind the newer, taller buildings downtown.

Sun, Mar 23, 2014