James A. Scott Collection - Financial District

Financial District: 1962 Financial District: 1993

"Throughout the 1950's, there was a great deal of debate concerning a Floor Area Ratio appropriate for downtown, the supervisors in opposition to the City Planning Commission. In 1963, the two bodies became more aligned, agreeing on a 16:1 FAR (reduced from 25:1). The Hartford Insurance Building shown here nudging Chinatown had brought matters to head as had the doubling of the height of the Telephone Building which put St. Mary's Square in the shade all winter. Quite obviously giants continued to be built, but there were trade-offs for plazas and set backs and a bonus for using a 14:1 floor area ratio."

Take our survey