Church of Scientology of San Francisco

The History
Of the Transamerica Building

The original Transamerica Building, now home of the Church of Scientology of San Francisco, stands adjacent to the Transamerica Pyramid and is a registered historical landmark and prominent feature of the Jackson Square Historic District.

Its conception dates to the era of San Francisco’s reconstruction following the Great 1906 Earthquake. It was then that businessman John Fugazi broke ground on a bank for the Italian immigrant workers of the city’s North Beach community. The triangular, two-story building opened its doors in 1909 as the Banca Popolare Operaia Italiana (Popular Italian Bank).

In 1928, fellow banker Amadeo P. Giannini purchased the building to house his new Bank of America. A decade later, Giannini extensively added to the structure, including the third story, and rededicated it as the headquarters for his Transamerica Corporation.

After acquiring the Transamerica Building, the Church of Scientology undertook the meticulous renovation of its notable architecture and historical elements, including its distinctive glazed white terra cotta tile façade. Preservation extended from the crowning balustrades to the basement, where reside the original bank vaults.

Dedicated as the home of the Church of Scientology in November 2003, the building now stands in its original splendor to serve San Francisco for the century ahead.