Fodor's Expert Review Transamerica Pyramid
It's neither owned by Transamerica nor is it a pyramid, but this 48-floor, 853-foot-tall obelisk is the most photographed of the city's high-rises. Excoriated in the design stages as "the world's largest architectural folly," the icon was quickly hailed as a masterpiece when it opened in 1972. Today it's probably the city's most recognized structure after the Golden Gate Bridge, and it's the second-tallest in the city after the Salesforce Tower. You can't go up the pyramid, but the best views and photo-ops are of the building itself anyway. A fragrant redwood grove along the east side of the building, with benches and a cheerful fountain of leaping frogs, is a placid downtown oasis in which to unwind.