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KQED Radio

March 26, 2014

From Pacific Telegraph to Yelp, a History of San Francisco in One Iconic Building


How much can the story of one building tell us about the rich and varied history of San Francisco? We discuss the evolution and past inhabitants of San Francisco’s landmark high-rise, 140 New Montgomery. The early skyscraper, constructed in 1925, once served as headquarters of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company and now houses Yelp and other tech companies. The Art Deco office tower recently underwent a $60 million restoration.

Host: Dave Iverson


  • Alexis Madrigal, senior editor for The Atlantic and author of the article “A 26-story history of San Francisco”
  • Cathy Simon, design principal at Perkins+Will, an architecture and design firm which worked on the 140 New Montgomery project
  • Therese Poletti, journalist, author of “Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger” and technology columnist at Marketwatch

Listen to the original story here.