The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline and one of its most iconic. Although the building no longer houses the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation, it is still strongly associated with the company and is depicted in the company's logo. Designed by architect William Pereira and built by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, at 260 m (850 ft), upon completion in 1972 it was among the five tallest buildings in the World. The tower has no public access except for the first floor lobby, so visitors can't reach the top for a panoramic view.
The building is a tall, four-sided pyramid with two "wings" on either side to accommodate an elevator shaft on the east and a stairwell and a smoke tower on the west. The top 64.6 m (212 ft) of the building is the spire. There are four cameras pointed in the four cardinal directions at the top of this spire forming a virtual observation deck. Four monitors in the lobby, whose direction and zoom can be controlled by visitors, display the cameras' views 24 hours a Day.
An observation deck on the 27th floor was closed after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and replaced by the virtual observation deck. The top of the Transamerica Pyramid is covered with aluminum panels. During the holiday season of Thanksgiving, and Independence Day, a bright, white light is seen on top of the pyramid. The building was built on a special base platform that allows it to reduce shaking from earthquakes. While it gradually reduces shaking, some shaking still intrudes the building