Twenty-Six Floors,
Uncountable Stories

140 Stories

Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company

The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., for which 140 New Montgomery was built as a headquarters, had a long and storied history in San Francisco.

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140 Stories

Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company

The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., for which 140 New Montgomery was built as a headquarters, had a long and storied history in San Francisco. Originally, the Bell System company was formed as the result of a merger of the Pacific States Telephone and Sunset Telephone in late 1906. These immediate predecessor companies stem from the third phone exchange in the U.S., founded in San Francisco in 1877, soon after Alexander Graham Bell received the first American patent in 1876 for the first practical telephone.

In 1915, the first transcontinental phone calls were made between the East Coast and San Francisco, via a new line that connected to a separate network constructed by Pacific Telephone. In the company’s San Francisco office at 333 Grant Avenue, those who participated in the telephone call with Alexander Graham Bell at AT&T headquarters in New York City and President Woodrow Wilson in the White House included Pacific Telephone CEO George McFarland, Thomas Watson, former assistant to Mr. Bell, and San Francisco Mayor James Rolph. The price for a long distance call at the time, however, was $20.70 for the first three minutes between New York and San Francisco. Long distance was slow to take off.

As both long distance and local telephone service came down in price, telephone service at home became more widespread. When PT&T was building its new headquarters at 140 New Montgomery, one in every four homes had telephone service in San Francisco.

140 Stories

What is Art Deco?

The term “Art Deco” refers to a wide-ranging design sensibility, which was geometric, florid and exotic. What we today call Art Deco was often referred to as jazz modern or zig zag or Moderne during the 1920s and 1930s.

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140 Stories

What is Art Deco?

The term “Art Deco” refers to a wide-ranging design sensibility, which was geometric, florid and exotic. What we today call Art Deco was often referred to as jazz modern or zig zag or Moderne during the 1920s and 1930s. 

Ghislaine Wood, in her excellent book, “Essential Art Deco,” describes it as: “the most glamorous style of the 20th century. It swept across the globe from Shanghai to Rio, altering the skylines of cities and adding an exotic vibrant edge to everything from cinema to fashion to ocean liners and cars. It embraced the natural world of plants and animals, sunbursts and fountains together with the geometric forms of avant garde painting and design, and eventually found expression in the idiom of streamlining.”

In architecture, the best examples of Art Deco can be found in American skyscrapers of the 1920s, which soared to new heights during the financial boom of the 1920s in most major American cities. Here in San Francisco, 140 New Montgomery was the first skyscraper to be designed in this vein, with its stepped tower, setbacks adorned by floral torches and industrial references and exotic motifs from Asia. The building was completed one month after the opening of the exposition in Paris brought the Art Deco style to the world stage; indeed the design of the Telephone Building predicted much of the architecture of the next decade.

140 Stories

Beautiful Lobby + Garden Art

As part of the building’s restoration and preservation, some of 140’s most striking features got special attention.

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140 Stories

Beautiful Lobby + Garden Art

Lobby Furniture

140’s lobby furniture evokes the shapes of art deco design while conforming to modern office lobby use as a place to meet and relax.  The concierge desk was constructed by Plant Architectural Woodwork from a design by Brayton Hughes Design. The exterior of the desk is an ebony veneer, with custom milled metal corners to provide stiffness and durability. The sofa across the lobby pulls together the ebony veneer of the desk and the Edelman leather panels of the modernized elevator cabs.

Lobby Art

140 New Montgomery has been home to innovative technology for 90 years. 140 also stands proudly in the center of San Francisco’s thriving arts district. Photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work embodies this blend of science and innovation with his Lightning Fields collection, which 140 is proud to showcase in its main lobby.

Writer Christopher Turner, in a story for Modern Painters magazine, notes that Sugimoto’s images, “Take us back to the beginning of photography…Sugimoto has always explored photography’s philosophical possibilities – capturing light in time – he’s now gone back to its literal origins.” Sugimoto said of his work, “To be a good photographer you have to be a scientist as well.”

To create his lightning field series, which was produced from 2006-2010, Sugimoto (b. 1948), used a Van de Graaff generator to charge a metal ball with static (the generator could produce up to 40,000 volts of electricity). The ball was then touched to a large metal table with a six-by-three-foot sheet of film. In an instant, the electricity rips through the film, producing the resulting images. Ranging from strong lightning bolts, to more tree-like branching, to almost ghost-like clouds, Lighting Fields harmonizes art, science and the history of photography – an ideal match for 140’s striking lobby.

140’s Gardens

Formerly used as a parking lot for equipment trucks and the home for a large diesel generator, 140’s outdoor space is now a place for tenants to gather informally and an area for diners to linger over an evening meal.

The planting, particularly the deciduous Ginko trees with their colorful leaves in the large main planter, provide a sense of the seasons, while small fruit trees in the smaller planters provide fresh produce for use by the street-level restaurants.

The stone pavers, benches and planter boxes provide for casual seating and give the courtyard a strong sense of its urban setting. The Carrera marble walls do double-duty – providing a backdrop for the planting and hiding mechanical equipment that is part of 140’s modernized building infrastructure.

140 Stories

Unique Neighborhood Destinations

140 New Montgomery is not only located in the center of San Francisco’s commercial district, but it is also at the center of the city’s rapidly growing arts district and adjacent to major new residential development.

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140 Stories

Unique Neighborhood Destinations

140 New Montgomery is not only located in the center of San Francisco’s commercial district, but it is also at the center of the city’s rapidly growing arts district and adjacent to major new residential development.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to the west is constructing a multistory expansion and will share Natoma Street with 140 as a service and access alley. The Museum of the African Diaspora, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Yerba Buena Centers of the Arts are all located in the neighborhood, while the neighboring blocks, particularly the smaller alley streets of Natoma and Minna, house many smaller art galleries.

To the east, the Transbay district is seeing dramatic new development. In addition to the new Transbay Transit Center multi-modal hub, more than a thousand new residential units will be constructed in sleek glass and steel high rises, bringing added vibrancy in the evenings to an area that just a few years ago was mostly a “9-to-5” district of San Francisco.

140 Stories

Onsite Restaurant

Enjoy the convenience of onsite dining at Mourad, located on the ground floor.

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140 Stories

Onsite Restaurant

Mourad, 140’s onsite restaurant, serves modern interpretations of ancient flavors. Paying homage to Morocco’s vibrant traditions and rich history, Mourad’s cuisine harmonizes North African tastes with the freshness and innovation of Northern California. Located on the ground floor of 140 New Montgomery, the restaurant’s stunning surroundings intertwine Moroccan motifs and modern design, creating a gracious and unified atmosphere. https://www.mouradsf.com/

140 Stories

A HISTORIC ICON

The revitalization of 140 New Montgomery honors its original spirit as a modern communications hub and center of innovation, business and creativity – all within the iconic terra-cotta wrapper of this historic building.

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140 Stories

A HISTORIC ICON

When 140 New Montgomery opened in 1925, at 435 feet high it was the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco. Dubbed the “Telephone Building” by locals, it quickly became an icon, with its soaring white tower dominating the city’s young skyline. 

140 New Montgomery was quickly recognized as a symbol of technology and the growth of San Francisco. When the building opened in 1925, it was heralded in both the local and national press as an architectural gem and a truly modern skyscraper. “A shimmering, gleaming monument to Talk!” wrote the San Francisco Examiner. Architecture said “The conception of the whole building is daringly original.” The building would influence the downtown building boom of the rest of the 1920s and beyond.

Like most cities in the rest of the United States, San Francisco experienced a big economic boom during the Roaring 20s. The improving finances of companies during the decade led many to build their own office buildings or corporate headquarters, as they expanded. The city saw unprecedented growth and expansion during the 1920s, creating many new neighborhoods that remain in existence today.

140 Stories

SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), located just west of 140 New Montgomery, is the home of an internationally-recognized modern and contemporary art collection.

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140 Stories

SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), located just west of 140 New Montgomery, is the home of an internationally-recognized modern and contemporary art collection. Founded in 1935, the Museum underwent a stunning transformation in 2016, opening a Snohetta-designed expansion to the Mario Botta building. 170,000 square feet of gallery space was tailored to SFMOMA’s collection, allowing many more works in the Museum’s collection of over 32,000 pieces to be enjoyed by the public. Holding artworks by artists including Cindy Sherman, Chuck Close, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, Frida Kahlo, Richard Serra, and Gerhard Richter, SFMOMA invites visitors to enjoy their renowned collections and welcoming public areas, all steps from public transportation and 140 New Montgomery. https://www.sfmoma.org/

140 Stories

Preservation + Transformation

The revitalization of 140 New Montgomery honors its original spirit as a modern communications hub and an engaged center of innovation, business and creativity. It attracts creative entrepreneurs and companies, and provides them with state-of-the-art technology, infrastructure and innovative and flexible workspace, all within the iconic terra-cotta wrapper of the restored historic high-rise building.

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140 Stories

Preservation + Transformation

The revitalization of 140 New Montgomery honors its original spirit as a modern communications hub and an engaged center of innovation, business and creativity. It attracts creative entrepreneurs and companies, and provides them with state-of-the-art technology, infrastructure and innovative and flexible workspace, all within the iconic terra-cotta wrapper of the restored historic high-rise building. Electrical systems, plumbing, fire protection systems, HVAC, roofing, and over 1,300 operable windows were all completely replaced, and over two million pounds of rebar was installed to reinforce the structure. And each floor was completely redone to maximize usable space, while historically significant elements and brick interiors were protected and renovated in order to preseve the iconic spirit of the architecture.

Curious to learn more about how the building was preserved and transformed? Dig into the details here in a PDF download: 140NM’s Preservation and Transformation.

Come See For Yourself

Now offering rare workspace availability for 2021.

office Leasing Contacts

Retail Leasing Contacts

Catherine meunier                                          PAM MENDELSOHN

415.806.5566                                                                          415.404.6650
catherine@mavenproperties.com                                     pam@mavenproperties.com

A Pembroke Property