555 California Street, formerly known as the Bank of America Center, is a 52-story, 779 ft (237.4 m) skyscraper in San Francisco. It stands as the second tallest building in the city and the focal point of the Financial District. Completed in 1969, it was the world headquarters of Bank of America until the 1998 merger with NationsBank, at which point the company moved its headquarters to Charlotte. The building is sometimes called Triple Five Cal or Triple Nickel Cal (based on its name) by bike messengers who deliver there.
On March 16, 2007, it was announced that Vornado Realty Trust had acquired a 70% interest from foreign investors with 30% in limited partnership interest still owned by Donald J. Trump. The building continued to be managed by the Shorenstein Company.
555 California Street was meant to be a deliberate and unmistakable display of Bank of America's wealth, power, and importance. To that end, the center was handled by the architecture firms Wurster, Benardi and Emmons and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with architect Pietro Belluschi consulting. The structural engineering was performed by the San Francisco firm H. J. Brunnier Associates. The skyscraper incorporates thousands of bay windows thanks to its unique design, meant to improve the rental value. At the north foot of the skyscraper is a large plaza named in honor of Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini that is often shaded during the day, leading to it being criticized as cold and windswept by many. Within the plaza is the 200-ton black Swedish granite sculpture "Transcendence" by Masayuki Nagare, locally 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. An exclusive restaurant, the Carnelian Room, is located on the 52nd floor.
In 1971 555 California Street, then just two years old, was featured at the beginning of the film Dirty Harry. It was from the roof of the building that the killer shoots his victim in the pool atop what is now the Hilton Financial District hotel on Kearny Street. The film shows wide panoramic views of San Francisco taken from the roof of the building.
In 1974, 555 California Street was again used extensively for filming of a box-office hit, this time The Towering Inferno, in which the outside plaza substituted for the film's fictional skyscraper, the infamous Glass Tower.
Together with the Transamerica Pyramid, 555 California Street is evidence of the direction San Francisco's downtown was moving during the 1960s before numerous campaigns against high-rise buildings in the 1970s and 1980s forced development to move south of Market Street.