Speaker Pelosi calls new federal building
model for the country
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
By Julia Cheever
July 10, 2007
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today called San Francisco's newest
federal building "a model for the rest of the country"
at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $144 million edifice.
Congresswoman Pelosi, D-San Francisco, spoke along with federal
and local officials including Mayor Gavin Newsom at the official
dedication of the 18-story building at 90 Seventh St. between
Mission and Market streets.
The building houses about 1,500 workers in regional offices of
agencies including the U.S. departments of labor, agricultural
and health and human services and the Social Security Administration.
Pelosi, who said she had been working on getting the building
built during her entire 20 years in Congress, said the building
is a "triumph of social responsibility" because it saves
energy by using natural light and natural ventilation as much
The energy use is 50 percent below the target for new federal
buildings, Pelosi said.
The building is also aimed at promoting workers' health. Among
other techniques, it has skip-stop elevators that stop only on
every third floor, so that employees have to climb stairs.
Thom Mayne, the building's architect, said during the dedication
that federal officials figured out that the stair-walking exercise
should extend the average user's life span by seven days and six
Employees who don't want to walk up stairs can use disability-accessible
elevators that stop on every floor.
The slender building is 240 feet tall but only 65 feet wide,
enabling workers on each floor to see city views to both the north
and the south. Most employees work in low-walled cubicles along
the windows, while managers have offices in so-called "cabins"
in the center of each floor.
The building project was run by the U.S. General Services Administration,
which manages federal facilities and property.
GSA spokeswoman Gene Gibson said that workers began moving in
April and that almost all of the 1,500 occupants are now in place.
The tenant agencies previously occupied leased space in various
locations in the city.
The new building, known for the time being as the San Francisco
Federal Building, is one of two large U.S. office buildings in
the city. The other is the 20-story Philip Burton Federal Building,
named after the late Democratic congressman, at 450 Golden Gate
Ave., which houses federal trial courts and several other U.S.
Gibson said the new building could eventually be named after
a person, but that will be up to Congress and the presidential
The dedication took place on the building's large open plaza.
Pelosi's speech was intermittently punctuated with calls of "Impeach
now!" by a small group of anti-Bush demonstrators on the
sidewalk outside the plaza.
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