Banker's Heart – San Francisco, California - Atlas Obscura

Banker's Heart

A shining, cold, black organ lies in San Francisco's financial district. 


Outside one of the Financial District’s tallest towers lies a glistening hunk of black granite that’s come to represent a very odd symbol.

The sculpture’s official name is “Transcendence,” and it was sculpted by Masayuki Nagare from 200 tons of black Swedish granite. It was commissioned in 1969 for the A.P. Giannini Plaza of 555 California Street, the building that was originally the headquarters for Bank of America, and as such, a hub of San Francisco finance.

But the monolith earned a new name after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen dubbed it the “Banker’s Heart.” The name suited the slick, sinewy artwork, and it stuck. Though Bank of America moved its headquarters to North Carolina, it left its heart in San Francisco.

Know Before You Go

In the block bounded by California, Kearny, Pine, and Montgomery Streets in San Francisco, California.

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