San Francisco 1978 – Transamerica Pyramid

1978’s skyline was quite different from now. I was using a Ricoh TLS 35mm SLR with Kodachrome film. The slides have been scanned and converted to Black and White.

6 thoughts on “San Francisco 1978 – Transamerica Pyramid

  1. HI David,
    I know exactly where the first image was made, I like to sit up on the concrete wall there in front of the parked cars and meet people. As you suggested its a little different now, no Sales Force building and no sinking Millennium Tower then. I think its the next block over where in the intro to the Monk tv show he walks by the stop sign.
    On the other side of the building the tops of small bushes are trimmed to mimic the top of the Transamerica building.

    One my favorite favorite walks is to get off BART at Civic Center, walk through UN Plaza, walk up Polk Street, turn right somewhere to go over Russian Hill into North Beach, up Telegraph Hill and back down on the street in your photo past the Transamerica building to the Montgomery Street BART.


  2. Thanks for the tour! 5 years after I took these photos I was working at Civic Center, for the City and County. I probably took versions of your path many times during those two years there.


  3. The Transamerica Pyramid brings back another memory of San Francisco when we were dating in 1979 and before we returned to get engaged at the Top of the Mark in September. I had a business trip in Salt Lake City and flew into San Francisco on Friday and met Janet at the airport when she flew in from Portland.

    We stayed in the heart of the City and had a great meal both nights – went to a play (Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury) on Friday and to the wonderful San Francisco Symphony on Saturday night with our plane reservations on Sunday at 6:00 PM. As we were walking back from the Symphony, I saw a San Fran Examiner headline “United Airlines on Strike.

    We rushed back to the hotel, called the other airlines and Amtrak with no luck. There was a 6:00 PM Greyhound on Sunday that only stopped four places and got in about 8:00 AM on Monday versus a noon bus up the Coast that made innumerable stops and got in only an hour earlier.

    We had several Bloody Mary’s before we got on the packed bus and I remember looking out the window after we crossed the Oakland Bay Bridge and seeing the Transamerica Tower out my small window and thinking, “This isn’t how I wanted to leave the City.”

    The only redeeming factor was that we figured after about an eighteen hour bus ride that we still were talking to each other and accepting the appearance of the other. Never again!!


  4. Wonderful story! This 1978 trip of mine was for Spring Break that year. I took Amtrak from Eugene on a Sunday evening arriving at the Richmond BART station around 7 in the morning. I didn’t get much sleep on the train, so splurged for my return and flew Air West (Hughes Air Worst) home, and went by the Amtrak station in Eugene to cash in my return ticket before the train arrived.

    Liked by 1 person

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