Central Tower

Central Tower
  1. About the Central Tower in San Francisco
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Central Tower is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Albert Roller and built between 1937 and 1938 in San Francisco, CA.

Central Tower is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The Central Tower is also known, or has been known as, Call Building, or Spreckels Building.

Its precise street address is 703 Market Street, San Francisco, CA. You can also find it on the map here.

The building has been restored 2 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1895 and 2017.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago
  1. 1895 - Original building in baroque style. The architect in charge was Reid & Reid.

Architect and team

Albert Roller was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Albert Roller was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Claus Spreckels as the Main Developer.

Architectural Style

The Central Tower can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The Central Tower was completed in 1938 during the last stretch of waht's officially considered to be the duration of the Art Deco movement. As a late-commer of the Art Deco movement and reflects the mature and refined characteristics of the style.

Spaces & Uses

The Central Tower reaches an architectural height of 299ft (91m). It has a total of 21 floors.

The building sits on a 5,242 sqf (487m2) piece of land , and offers a total of 108,220 sqf (10,054m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1938, the Central Tower has mainly been used as Commercial space.

299ft (91m)

Materials & Structure

The Central Tower uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a light-colored ceramic cladding, which was partially painted with stripes of darker shades of brown in the early 2000s, empathising its verticality.