140 New Montgomery

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140 New Montgomery
140 New Montgomery from Salesforce Park.jpg
From Salesforce Park in April 2021
140 New Montgomery is located in San Francisco
140 New Montgomery
Location within San Francisco
Former names
  • The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company Building
  • The Pacific Bell Building
Alternative names
  • The Pacific Telephone Building
  • The Telephone Building
  • Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. Coast Division Offices
Record height
Preceded by225 Bush Street
Surpassed byRuss Building
General information
Architectural styleArt Deco
Coordinates37°47′13″N 122°24′00″W / 37.7868194444444°N 122.399905555556°W / 37.7868194444444; -122.399905555556Coordinates: 37°47′13″N 122°24′00″W / 37.7868194444444°N 122.399905555556°W / 37.7868194444444; -122.399905555556
Current tenantsYelp
Construction startedJanuary 1, 1924; 98 years ago (1924-01-01)
OpenedMay 30, 1925
Renovated1980s (façade)
CostUS$4 million (equivalent to $61.81 million in 2021)
OwnerPembroke Real Estate Inc.
Architectural435 feet (132.7 meters)
Tip460 ft (140.2 m)
Antenna spire460 ft (140.2 m)
Roof435 ft (132.6 m)
Top floor413 ft (125.9 m)
Other dimensions147.00 ft (44.81 m) length x 160.00 ft (48.77 m) width
Technical details
Structural systemsteel
Floor count26
Floor area295,000 sq ft (27,400 m2)
Design and construction
Architecture firmMiller and Pflueger
  • San Francisco Category I Historic Building
  • LEED Gold

140 New Montgomery Street, originally known as The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company Building, and, after 1984, as The Pacific Bell Building or The PacBell Building, in San Francisco's South of Market district, is an Art Deco mixed-use office tower located close to the St. Regis Museum Tower and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[1]

The 26-floor building was designed to consolidate numerous smaller buildings and outdated offices into a modern headquarters for The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., and as a result, was designated as the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. Coast Division Offices by the company, though referred to colloquially as The Telephone Building.[13][10] When it opened on May 30, 1925, The Pacific Telephone Building was San Francisco's first significant skyscraper development, and was the tallest building in San Francisco, until the Russ Building matched its height in 1927 at the time of its completion.[1][10][11] The building was the first high-rise south of Market Street, and along with the Russ Building, remained the city's tallest until it was overtaken by 650 California Street in 1964. It was the first high rise located on the west coast to be occupied solely by a single tenant.[11]

AT&T sold the building in 2007, and as of 2013, Internet company Yelp is the main tenant.[14][15]

Construction and original tenant[edit]

At the time of its construction, it housed The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., a member of the Bell System. The building once had a bell motif in many places on its façade, most notably surrounding the arch over the main entrance doors on New Montgomery Street. After the breakup of the Bell System (AT&T) in 1984, and the formation the Regional Bell Operating Companies, also known as the Baby Bells, Pacific Telephone changed its name to Pacific Bell.[16]

Statues of eight eagles (each 13 feet (4.0 m) in height) perch atop the tower's crown.[17][18] The building has an L—shaped floor plan, and the architecture decoratively incorporates spotlights to show the exterior's terra cotta ornamentation day and night.[13]

In 1929, Sir Winston Churchill visited the building and made his first transatlantic telephone call, phoning his London home.[19][20][7]

For 44 years until 1978, the top of the roof was used to convey official storm warnings to sailors at the direction of the United States National Weather Service, in the form of a 25 feet (7.6 metres) long triangular red flag by day, and a red light at night.[7]

In the 21st century[edit]

In 2007, the PacBell Building was sold by AT&T to Stockbridge Capital Group and Wilson Meany Sullivan for US$118 million.[21] In 2008, the new owners filed plans to convert the tower into 118 luxury condominiums. However, those plans were put on hold during the 2008 financial crisis, and the building sat empty for nearly six years.[22]

Following a surge in office demand in 2010–2011, Wilson Meany Sullivan changed the plans back to office space.[22] Major renovation work began in February 2012, to improve the building's seismic performance, install all–new mechanical, electric, plumbing and fire sprinkler systems, and preserve and restore the building's historic lobby, at an estimated cost of US$80–100 million.[23] In 2012, Yelp announced it had signed a lease on the building's 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of office space through 2020.[24] After two expansions, the company held a total of almost 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) on 13 floors in the fall 2015.[14]

In April 2016, Pembroke Real Estate Inc., a Boston–based REIT, acquired 140 New Montgomery as part of its portfolio — its second acquisition in San Francisco.[5][25][26][27] According to property records, Pembroke paid US$284 million for the property, at around US$962 per square foot.[26][27]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. at Structurae
  • 140 New Montgomery Street at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's The Skyscraper Center
  • "Emporis building ID 118764". Emporis. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  • "PacBell Building". SkyscraperPage.
  • Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. Building by James R. Miller, 1924, architectural drawing, charcoal and graphite on paper, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • "140 New Montgomery — The 140 Story". The140story.com.
  • Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company Building photographs for multiple San Francisco locations at the San Francisco Public Library
  • Madrigal, Alexis C. (19 March 2014). "A 26-Story History of San Francisco". The Atlantic.


  1. ^ a b c "Emporis building ID 118764". Emporis. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "PacBell Building". SkyscraperPage.
  3. ^ Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. at Structurae
  4. ^ "140 New Montgomery Street — The Skyscraper Center". SkyscraperCenter.com. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b "140 New Montgomery — San Francisco — North America". Pembroke.com. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Inventory of the A.A. and A.M. Cantin Collection, 1933-1977". OAC.CdLib.org. Retrieved 17 December 2018. Alexander (Aimwell) Cantin was born March 4, 1876, and died in 1964. He is possibly best known for designing a series of Pacific Telephone and Telegraph buildings in San Francisco and collaborated with the firm of Miller and Pflueger on the 26-story, Coast Division Building of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company at 140 New Montgomery Street.
  7. ^ a b c Nolte, Carl (20 October 1995). "Pac Bell Rings In 70th Birthday of S.F. Headquarters". SFgate.com. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Timothy Pflueger — Architect — Then — Design". 140NM.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Cantin, Alexander & Mackenzie — Environmental Design Archives, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley". Archives.CED.Berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Poletti, Therese; Pavia, Tom (3 September 2008). Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger (1st ed.). New York: Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 59–79. ISBN 978-1-56898-756-9. OCLC 191732382. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. CA-2870, "Pacific Telephone Building, 140 New Montgomery Street", 25 photos, 4 data pages, 3 photo caption pages
  12. ^ Mahjoub, Nina A.; Stringer, Megan; Tremayne, Bill (2015). "Retrofit / Seismic: Sustaining a Historic High-Rise Structure" (PDF). CTUBH Journal. Chicago, IL: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (1): 34–39. ISSN 1946-1186. JSTOR ctbuhj. OCLC 183595840. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Richard C. (September 1925). "The News Letter and the Telephone". San Francisco News Letter (Diamond Jubilee ed.). Retrieved 17 December 2018 – via Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.
  14. ^ a b Simonson, Sharon (19 August 2013). "Yelp Occupies 140 New Montgomery". TheRegistrySF.com. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  15. ^ Russ Building, San Francisco. Emporis. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  16. ^ Pollack, Andrew (1 January 1984). "Bell System Breakup Opens Era of Great Expectations and Great Concern". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  17. ^ Bevk, Alex (8 March 2012). "Pacific Telephone Building Scraps Plans For Condos, Moves On To Office Space". SF.curbed,com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-08. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  18. ^ Dineen, J. K. (22 August 2013). Sneak peek: Yelp's new San Francisco HQ set to open. San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  19. ^ "Noted Statesman visits Telephone Building" (PDF). The Pacific Telephone Magazine. September 1929. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company Building — San Francisco, USA Attractions". LonelyPlanet.com. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  21. ^ Haeber, Jonathan M. (22 June 2009). An Abandoned Skyscraper: The Pac Bell Building. Bearings. Richmond, California: Chronicas Media. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  22. ^ a b Poletti, Therese (7 March 2012). "New Call by Developer on Historic Tower". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 December 2012. A historic skyscraper in downtown San Francisco, the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph building, empty for almost six years, is about to become a hub of construction activity as a US$50 million–plus modernization project begins. ... This is a new strategy from the developer, which in 2008 filed plans to turn the tower, also known as the Telephone Building, into 118 luxury condominiums, at an estimated cost of US$80 million to US$100 million.
  23. ^ "140 New Montgomery". 140NM.com. 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  24. ^ "Yelp signs Pacific Telephone Building lease to 2020". San Francisco Chronicle. 9 May 2012.
  25. ^ Company Overview of Pembroke Real Estate Inc. Bloomberg Markets. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  26. ^ a b Li, Roland (15 December 2016). "Developers double their money with $350 million SoMA office sale". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  27. ^ a b Li, Roland (24 March 2017). "Wilson Meany sells a revamped, historic gem (video)". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 17 December 2018.