Address
555 California Street, San Francisco, CA
Year Constructed
1969
Structural Engineering Firm(s)
Structural Engineer(s)
Architect(s)
Wurster, Bernardi and Emmons; Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP; Pietro Belluschi
Main Contractor
Dinwiddie-Fuller-Cahill
Media
555 California Street
555 California Street
Source; Chris Yunker
Structure Description

555 California Street is a 52-story high-rise office tower completed in 1969 as Bank of America’s World Headquarters at a cost of $90 million. The height including penthouse is 779 feet above the Plaza level with four levels of underground parking. The building is constructed of structural steel moment frames in each direction supporting vertical loads and resisting lateral wind and seismic forces. The foundation system consists of concrete walls and floors supported on caissons. There is approximately 1.5 million square feet of space in the building.

Significance to Structural Engineering History in Northern California

The Bank of America World Headquarters was the tallest and largest office building west of the Mississippi River from 1969 to 1972 before being eclipsed by the Transamerica Pyramid. The tower is one of the more recognizable structures on the San Francisco skyline and is still the largest office building (by floor area) in San Francisco.

Interesting Facts
  • The saw tooth exterior carnelian granite walls were intended to reflect the bay window style popular in many residential buildings in the City and to increase the number of views from the office floors.