San Francisco Chronicle columnist John King recently observed the building at 600 Battery Street possessed an “imaginative stroke by adding a second floor terrace by hollowing out the central bay” on one of the exterior walls. “A deep cut drama in a simple box”.

Actually the entire building contained some remarkably unique architectural features when it was first designed for the then remarkably successful creative oriented ad agency, Goldberg Moser O’Neill. Architects Tanner Leddy Maytum Stacy did the work.

Special aspects included soft curved corridors and office spaces; open ceilings exhibiting trays that held the extensive wiring (a visual demonstration of the connectivity of the organization with itself and the rest of the world); a transparent perspective so one could see outside from virtually every office space; and so on.

But the real drama of this building had to do more with the number of advertising agencies it housed after Interpublic’s unsuccessful merging of Goldberg Moser O’Neill with Hill Holliday.  Hill Holliday soon downsized and moved out, replaced by Foote Cone & Belding, at one time the San Francisco’s largest agency.  In turn expeditiously supplanted by McCann Erickson who then lost the Microsoft account and who now have a multitude of marketing and communications firms somewhat filling the space.

That’s advertising folks. That’s the insanity of advertising.