555 California Street is a prominent modern skyscraper that stands at 779 ft (237 m) and is the second tallest skyscraper in San Francisco. Completed in 1969 the building is an iconic fixture in the city's skyline, the largest building by floor area, and a focal point of the Financial District.
The tower was the world headquarters of Bank of America until the 1998 merger with NationsBank, when the company moved its headquarters to the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Colloquially known as "Triple Five", 555 California Street was meant to display the wealth, power, and importance of Bank of America. Design was by Wurster, Bernardi and Emmons and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with architect Pietro Belluschi consulting; structural engineering was by the San Francisco firm H. J. Brunnier Associates. The skyscraper has thousands of bay windows thanks to its unique design, meant to improve the rental value and to symbolize the bay windows common in San Francisco residential real estate. The irregular cutout areas near the top of the building were designed to suggest the Sierra mountains. At the north foot of the skyscraper a plaza named in honor of Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini is usually in shadow during the day and is criticized as cold and windswept.
In the plaza the 200-ton black Swedish granite sculpture "Transcendence" by Masayuki Nagare resembles a liver but is derisively known as the "Banker's Heart". Nearly the entire block—the skyscraper, the banking hall, the plaza, the stairways, and the sidewalks—is clad in costly polished or rough carnelian granite. A restaurant, the "Carnelian Room", was on the 52nd floor. The elevator to this restaurant is one of the few publicly accessible high-speed elevators in San Francisco. The restaurant closed at midnight New Year's Eve