At 350 Bush Street in San Francisco, workers have gone to great lengths to preserve and incorporate a historic building into a 19-story tower under construction in the city’s busy financial district. Since the project’s planning began nearly 20 years ago, the team has worked to convince wary city planners that they would retain enough of the historic Mining Exchange to gain preservationists’ approval. Meanwhile, engineers and contractors had to formulate a way to build a new foundation beneath the old building without crumbling the structure.
“This project was the most difficult planning approval I’ve ever done,” says longtime local architect Jeffrey Heller, president of Heller Manus Architects. “There isn’t anyone left in the city to get permission from. It was unbelievably complex and had to be dealt with very carefully.”