Townscape: Needle in the Sky

In Manhattan, a 45-story office building would be lost in the crowd. In San Francisco it would not, especially if it were topped by a 220-ft. spire and had the overall shape of a very sharp pyramid. The building in question is the proposed $30 million head office of Transamerica Corporation. When erected, it will be the tallest building in the West, and the issues it raises go straight to the heart of one of the most vexing problems of urban planning: where should the line be drawn between private convenience and...

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