San Francisco Makeover Transit Inspired
SAN FRANCISCO — Where else but here, the cradle of psychedelic, would you expect a sleek, skyline-dwarfing skinny office tower crowned with a spin-in-the-wind, glowing, turbine-powered light show?
It's all part of a $1 billion development the city — like a few others with major projects underway — is betting will be the wave of the future: building up instead of out, the denser the better, stressing trains and buses over cars.
The proposed Transbay Transit Center with its possible 1,200-foot tower, elevated public park the length of five football fields and room for high-speed trains someday linking California's major cities, will be a "symbolic expression of our environmental values," says Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association, a public policy think tank.
"It's a statement that our highest value is ecology," he says. "Just as church steeples were always the tallest buildings in the Middle Ages, we're marking our transit hub as the most important spot on the skyline."
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