140 New Montgomery St., a.k.a. the old Pacific Telephone Building, was designed by Miller & Pflueger and opened in 1925 as the tallest building in San Francisco.
In 1929 inside this “Monument to Talk,” Winston Churchill made one of the first trans-Atlantic phone calls.
Mark Goodman painted the glorious plaster ceiling by hand, as the highlight of the opulent lobby:
This ceiling is so vivid and gilded that I’d almost be tempted to call it gaudy, but I can’t — it’s gorgeous, though surprising in an office building:
Fun fact: Yelp is now headquartered in this building: