Millennium Tower's topping-off bucket and tree (www.SocketSite.com)
The ceremonial last concrete bucket and traditional topping-off tree have been hoisted 645 feet atop San Francisco’s Millennium Tower. And from there, we head straight to the views. First up and appropriately enough (as it’s from the very first Millennium condo to go into contract), a view from what will be Unit B on the 58th floor (a.k.a. PH1B):
Millennium Tower: View from PH1B on the 58th floor (www.SocketSite.com)
One of the neighbor’s views from PH1C to the southeast:
Millennium Tower: View from PH1C
One of their neighbor’s views from PH1D to the south:
Millennium Tower: View from PH1D
And rounding out the 58th floor, a view from PH1A to the west:
Millennium Tower: View from PH1A
Millennium Tower (301 Mission) Update: Construction And Topping-Off [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by missionbayres

    They had a pretty happening party for the constructon crew this afternoon. They were treated to a free lunch and loud music on the first floor of the midrise!
    I believe they also had either a broker’s tour or a tour for buyers as there were people going in and out the building all day long….

  2. Posted by missionbayres

    Strangely, that view doesn’t seem very high (or nice) considering it’s the top floor of the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi.
    I would expect it to tower above most highrises in the city, but it’s just on par or shorter than those buildings in the view…

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    missionbayres – that’s the view from the 58th floor, not the top.

  4. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    Are you kidding?? That view looks awesome! I’d definitely move from Russian Hill and rent a 2BR in this building for $3k/month.
    Any investors want to rent out their new condo??

  5. Posted by J

    I swear I saw the crane lifting that if it was between 2-3 ish….that’s pretty cool nonetheless.
    Good pics.

  6. Posted by Foolio

    Yeah, pretty kickin’ view.
    If I didn’t feel squeamish about living in a tall tube of glass and steel in earthquake country, I’d rent a 2BR in this place for $3k/month too. Well, maybe more like $2700.

  7. Posted by tipster

    Pretty view on the top half of that photo, but it’s kind of a bummer that the bottom half is an ugly view of the machinery on the top of 425 Market Street and some other buildings. The tower is just high enough to clear the curtains around the machinery that hides the ugliness from smaller buildings and the street.
    Great location and all, and I’m sure it looks spectacular at night, but I have the same problem from some of the offices my company rents on the top floor of a building in the burbs: they look out over building machinery on smaller buildings, and you have to block the lower half of the view or it looks terrible. And the lower half is different depending on the height of the person, so the blinds we use to block the lower half are never really at the right height for everyone.
    That’s an awfully pricey “problem view” during the daytime. I’d live there for $3K too, though.

  8. Posted by EH

    Huh. I had no idea 444 Market had roof gardens.

  9. Posted by ufool

    Seriously.. $6 million to look at the top of the nearby ugly building’s HVAC equipment??? This is why One Rincon’s location is such a better deal than this, the views at ORH are unparalleled

  10. Posted by ex SF-er

    say what you will… IMO PH 1B has an amazing view. Transamerica and GG bridge in the same view… not many places have that.
    not worth the $$$ IMO, but this view is 100,000 x better than the other “penthouses”.
    I thought ORH would be the tallest condo tower west of the mississippi… what happened?

  11. Posted by humphrey

    You never knew Shaklee Terrace had roof gardens?? What did you think the word ‘Terrace’ meant, garage?

  12. Posted by Greg O.

    Sigh. Jimmy Stewart’s long-suffering girl Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes, pre-Miss Ellie) in “Vertigo” had a much prettier view, a much sexier view, a much more romantic view from her modest apartment on Russian Hill. This new SF skyline, well, it’s too “injected” in my view.

  13. Posted by anoncannotsleep

    Can’t afford a penthouse, but I have given myself and friends who visit some nights every year at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel that you can see in the first view shot. The “11” series rooms have views on 3 sides including the golden gate, and the bathroom tub has an amazing picture window looking north.
    BUT I cannot help but agree with Greg, Midge’s modest apartment is when “San Francsico was San Francisco”, as they say in the same film Vertigo, and her view was what no other city on earth had at the time. I love her Eames Couch btw, and that movie was Hitchcock’s valentine card to the city he loved. He purposely included his favorite views, restaurants and drives. What would he think now of our city of $800,000 1bd cookie cutter condos with Room and Board furniture and 48″ plasma screens?

  14. Posted by Me

    I, personally don’t like views where you are towering so high above everything that all you see are ants below (ala 1RH).
    And to use Millenium in the same breath as 1RH….now that just isn’t right.

  15. Posted by Native_Son

    I say who the hell cares what Hitchcock would think of today’s San Francisco! No, really, did he like, own the City or something? I’m sure no Brit cares what I think of their charming little island, and as someone born on Geary, I don’t care what a dead Brit thinks of my little island. Are we also supposed to care what Fulton or Vallejo or Noe or Caruso or Levi think about today’s SF? Their version, I’m sure, was the “true” San Francisco in their minds.
    When I drive around with my pops around the City, he always says that it looks 95% the same as it did when he first arrived 35 years ago. And you know, what? He’s probably right. Take a walk down your favorite street. Note that 95% of the buildings you see are the same buildings my pops saw all those years ago. A friend, who is visiting from Seoul, noted that Seoul is more “modern” (whatever that means) than SF (what we view as charming, they view as old and run down).
    Maybe it’s because I’m young (29) but I am sick of all the poo-pooing about how the City isn’t how it was in ’67. I say great. Cuz it would totally blow if it stayed the same. I grew up, thankfully, and so should my fair city. As long as they keep the skyscrapers downtown and not in Noe Valley or Glen Park or the Sunset, who cares? I mean, isn’t that what downtowns are for?
    Oh, Mr. Hitchcock, London isn’t as pretty as I thought it would be. And they built a big ass ferris wheel on the River Thames. Yah, that’s not tacky at all.

  16. Posted by anon

    Native Son, the Hitchcock reference was in regard to the view from Midge’s flat, not anything more. Her view was a hillside view, not one from a shoebox in the sky. The point was that some people prefer to be able to see who is passing by on the street, instead being up so high that everyone “looks like ants”. Hitchcock is dead, don’t worry, he cannot stop the building of glass condo towers you are so in love with.

  17. Posted by Greg O.

    Native Son: I was born in San Francisco in 1959, so I’ve had the perspective of seeing SF “grow up” (as you say) gradually over the decades, not a shock-all-at-once about face. I’m not against change, modernism, what have you, but I am against sameness, blandness, the Dallas-ification of our skyline, such that it becomes interchangeable with other metro areas. I now work in Levi’s Plaza and my view leaving at night is of Coit Tower, the prettiest, most elegant building in the city: clean, classic, well-proportioned and well-situated, uncluttered by surrounding monstrosities. It murmurs “SAN FRANCISCO”. And that’s what I like.
    Greg O.
    P.S. Back to “Vertigo”, aside from the period, you get a feel of The City as something very precious, special, not big (as on a scale) but mysterious and complex, maybe because the buildings don’t seem to overpower the hills.

  18. Posted by Zig

    My grandfather was born was born on Treat Street, 1915
    When I ask him about neighborhoods south of the Mission he usually just replies, “cabbagepatch”, Bay View is where animals were butchered and the waterfront actually had industry
    The city has changed a lot and keeps changing.
    If anything the anti-growth decades of the recent past were the anomaly
    I think the compromise that this city has found of protecting the historic areas north of Broadway, while growing in Mission Bay and South of Market is a very wise compromise
    SF makes up a very small percentage of the Bay Area now and it is important that it stay competitive

  19. Posted by Native_Son

    Anon and Greg O: I agree with you two. Worry not, that San Francisco is still here. Almost every part of SF maintains that low-key, personal, romantic, mysterious, fog covered city that we all know and love. But what we’re talking about here is downtown San Francisco. The place where the big buildings go. The Millennium is a big building surrounded by other big buildings. No Edwardian was hurt in the making of this building. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown (and really, a downtown should be all about hustle and bustle and big buildings and suits and ties and yes, bums), you can just walk about 10 minutes and you’ll be in Chinatown, North Beach, Union Square. A 10 minute cab ride, you’ll be wherever in SF you want to be and nary a tall building will be in sight.
    I don’t know what the Dallas skyline looks like. I’ve seen it, sure, but I don’t know what it looks like. That’s because no poster, no post card, no painting has ever been made of the Dallas skyline. It is not a part of the culture. The only time anyone glances at Dallas is when Monday Night Football visits the town. No one has ever mistaken SF’s skyline for Dallas. Not a single soul. However, if the some of the people at the time had their way, neither Coit Tower or the Transamerica would have been built (both were haaaated). Now, I am NOT comparing any of the new buildings to either of those beloved structures. However, ironically, we would look a LOT like Dallas if we decided not to build.

  20. Posted by Joe

    The view from midges condo is likely 100% the same as it was then. That part of the city will NEVER change as it is fully built out and height restricted.

  21. Posted by Native_Son

    Anon and Greg O: I agree with you two. Worry not, that San Francisco is still here. Almost every part of SF maintains that low-key, personal, romantic, mysterious, fog covered city that we all know and love. But what we’re talking about here is downtown San Francisco. The place where the big buildings go. The Millennium is a big building surrounded by other big buildings. No Edwardian was hurt in the making of this building. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown (and really, a downtown should be all about hustle and bustle and big buildings and suits and ties and yes, bums), you can just walk about 10 minutes and you’ll be in Chinatown, North Beach, Union Square. A 10 minute cab ride, you’ll be wherever in SF you want to be and nary a tall building will be in sight.
    I don’t know what the Dallas skyline looks like. I’ve seen it, sure, but I don’t know what it looks like. That’s because no poster, no post card, no painting has ever been made of the Dallas skyline. It is not a part of the culture. The only time anyone glances at Dallas is when Monday Night Football visits the town. No one has ever mistaken SF’s skyline for Dallas. Not a single soul. However, if the some of the people at the time had their way, neither Coit Tower or the Transamerica would have been built (both were haaaated). Now, I am NOT comparing any of the new buildings to either of those beloved structures. However, ironically, we would look a LOT like Dallas if we decided not to build.

  22. Posted by Greg O.

    Joe: Obviously, you are right. BTW: the address for Midge’s apartment was probably 296 Union St.

  23. Posted by Tweety

    I think the views are beautiful, but, um, I might be a bit of a view whore. And, as a Bay Area native, while I appreciate that everything here looks much like it did when I was 5, I wish this fishing village was open to a little change.

  24. Posted by Haightgirl

    Midge’s apartment was on 900 Lombard Street – my sister used to live around the corner and we’d joke that only in the movie was parking easy to find in North Beach…

  25. Posted by Sleepiguy

    Scottie’s apt was at 900 Lombard. I read that Midge’s apt was actually filmed in a studio.

  26. Posted by gayghetto

    LOL.. filmed in a studio.. but we are supposed to hate Hollywood, right? Please, LA, tell me what to think next of San Francisco, just like the rest!!

  27. Posted by noearch

    The Dallas skyline was part of the opening sequence to “Dallas”..as the camera swept in low over the freeways leading to downtown dallas, the music would swell and we’d settle in for an hour of texas drama, big hair and Miss Ellie.
    I miss it.
    But I love San Francisco better. it’s home and its still the best.

  28. Posted by anonandon

    According to the book “Footsteps in the Fog” about Hitchcock’s work in San Francisco, Midge’s apartment was at 296 Union Street, and the building has now been torn down, with a “contemporary” structure that has replaced it. The interior was “real” but Hitchcock recreated it in Hollywood, along with a painting of the view exactly as it would appear in that location. He also rebuilt an entire full scale version of the interior of the Pacific Union Club dining room and library. He was a believer in details to the point where the dinner that was served in the recreated soundstage dining room at “Ernies”, was flown down from the real Ernies in San Francisco and was what was on the menu that night up here in the city.
    Anyway, I like the towers downtown, and the view from the Millennium is nice, but I myself would rather have the view that you get from Outer Broadway near the Lyon Street stairs. I still think the Millenium looks more like an office tower than a place to live, and I doubt Hitchcock would choose this as the residence of Madeleine. Madeleine lived in the Brocklebank, which may be “old”, and not be 60 stories of blue glass and steel, but buildings like the Brocklebank have a lot of style and class.

  29. Posted by bob

    I cant believe someone is complaining that you can see other buildings HVAC equipment from 301 mission. GET OVER IT.

  30. Posted by Robert

    What is the relevance anyway of the view from the top – there will be no public observatory in the building. To see this view you’ll need to shell out $6M for a condo at the top or have a friend who does. The sad thing about this building (and why they’ll never sell condos below the 25th floor or higher even) is that most of the units simply have “views” that face office buildings across the street. If I were paying $1.5 to $2.0M for a condo, I would never make that tradeoff . . .

  31. Posted by snark

    This building looks nice but it’s too bad it’s not taller. Why can’t SF have a real blockbuster tower, something like Trump International or Sears Tower in Chicago? I would love to see an 80 or 90 story building go up downtown.

  32. Posted by soma

    For the sake of accuracy, the roof gardens are at One Front. I believe Covington & Burling is up there.
    http://www.cbre.com/USA/US/CA/San+Francisco+DT/Property/onefront.htm

  33. Posted by Mark

    $3000/month for a 1 bedroom? Is that a joke?
    Check craigslist — luxury places are always $3500 – $5500.

  34. Posted by killerfrog

    Quoted: “I don’t know what the Dallas skyline looks like. I’ve seen it, sure, but I don’t know what it looks like. That’s because no poster, no post card, no painting has ever been made of the Dallas skyline. It is not a part of the culture.”
    Well, you sure crammed a lot of blatantly false declarations into a few sentences there. I’ve seen many a poster, postcard and even paintings of the Dallas skyline. As for not a part of the culture? Pfft. You’re pretty much guaranteed to see obligatory shots of it during any broadcast event in the area; countless Dallas businesses use a skyline drawing in their logo or on their trucks or whatnot. It’s fairly easily recognizable with the green outlined BoA Plaza, X-braces of Renaissance Tower, futuristic Fountain Place and blinking ball of Reunion Tower.
    Anyway, back to Millennium Tower/One Rincon Hill. Both or gorgeous (I just saw both in person yesterday). Hopefully ORH will get some neighbors soon – it seems kind of lonely by itself over there. Also, as for tallest residential West of the Mississippi, it’s neither of those anymore. The Austonian in Austin was just completed, and stands taller at 683 from the ground. But Millennium & ORH are still 2nd and 3rd.

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