Remember when we could walk into an office building and ride an elevator to any floor without going through security first? Apparently, we lost our innocence back in July of 1993 when a 55-year-old “failed entrepreneur/disgruntled client” entered 101 Cal, made his way to the 34th floor, and started shooting, killing eight and injuring six others.
This incident spurred the installation of security measures now common in most office buildings. After this incident, security stations were installed in lobbies, employees were required to carry identification badges enabling them access to their suites, and “procedures” were established for vendors and visitors. It wasn’t like that, once upon a time.
Hines developed 101 California Street, a 48-story building, which takes up an entire city block and was completed in 1982. It is one of the few San Francisco buildings designed by famed architect Philip Johnson and his then partner, John Burgee. They also collaborated on the 23-story 580 California office building, pictured below, whose mansard roof is home to 12 faceless figures in togas, supposedly representing the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors and the City’s mayor (Philip Johnson was not their fan).
While we in San Franciso may only have but two edifices of the Johnson/Burgee collaboration, not to worry: NYC also has only two as well, though they are quite famous structures: the Lipstick building at 885 Third Avenue which housed the Johnson/Burgee office until they split in 1991 and the home to Bernie Madoff’s “enterprise” until the feds came and changed his mailing address (2009).
Johnson and Burgee collaborated on designing the Sony Building with its Chippendale-inspired pediment at 550 Madison Avenue; formerly known as the AT&T building.
Other than being a well-located, towering edifice, 101 Cal has a beautiful plaza where one may enjoy eating lunch on those “frequent” balmy San Francisco days.
Note: LISA will launch its first (test) game in Q3 featuring the 39-story Jasper apartment building on Harrison at First Street in San Francisco. The Jasper building was designed by HKS Architects, built by BuildGroup, and developed by Crescent Heights, who sold it to Northwestern Mutual in 2020.
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