On the site plan for the Transamerica tower complex in San Francisco’s Financial District, architect William Pereira delineated a half-acre property for a pocket park. The park was designed in 1969 by Thomas Galli and constructed in 1972 in conjunction with Pereira’s Transamerica Pyramid Tower, the city’s tallest building.
The site, which was once part of the Barbary Coast waterfront, then filled and later occupied by the Montgomery Block building which was demolished in 1959, was planted with 80 mature redwood trees brought in from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Fifty of the original trees remain, creating a shaded, green oasis amidst the area’s glass and steel skyscrapers. In addition to the redwoods, the park incorporates boulders, shrubs, and bermed planting beds filled with ferns and flowering plants. It is paved with exposed-aggregate concrete pavers and enclosed by a tall steel fence, with three gated entrances open on weekdays. The rectangular pavers create a rough-edged, Cubist-inspired border. The space also features a sunken asymmetrical pool and fountain designed by Anthony Guzzardo, an outdoor stage, and poured concrete benches topped with wooden slats (now replaced with plastic-wood boards). A bronze sculpture of running children by Glenna Goodacre was installed in 1989, and jumping frog and lily pad sculptures designed by Richard Clopton were added to the fountain in 1996.