Mission Street Closed After Windows Fail at Salesforce Building, Millennium Tower in High Winds

NBC Universal, Inc.

The fierce storm that whipped through San Francisco Tuesday is now suspected of triggering failures of 20 or more windows at a Salesforce building, and at least one window at the nearby Millennium Tower high-rise.  

Those failures prompted the closure of a stretch of Mission Street overnight as a precaution, city officials said.

The Mission Street window failures came hours after a window blew out between the 13th and 14th floor of the high-rise at 50 California Street. No one was injured in that failure, but the area immediately around that building was also closed down as a precaution. That incident came a week after a 43rd floor window failed  at the former Bank of America building at 555 California Street.  That failure also came during a massive wind storm.  

The owner of the building has since been cited and given 14 days to inspect the façade of the structure to assure it is stable.

Patrick Hannan, spokesman for the Department of Building Inspection, says teams of inspectors were on site at the 50 California building this afternoon after Tuesday’s incident. Later, they also discovered multiple cracked or failed windows between the 11th and 30th floors of the Salesforce East building on the Mission Street side. Hannan said that as of Tuesday night, at least one window was found to be cracked on each of those floors.

Separately, inspectors were examining one window on the 49th floor of the Millennium Tower that had failed as of Tuesday night.

San Francisco Fire Capt. Jonathan Baxter said that fire crews, dispatched for a tree down on Mission Street, observed “issues related to the windows” at the Millennium Tower. Baxter did not have any further details, and had no information on any failed window failures at Salesforce. He confirmed the 300 block of Mission will be closed overnight as a precaution related to the failed window found at the Millennium at 301 Mission. The Salesforce is at 350 Mission.

Hannan, the building inspection department spokesman, said crews were checking all three locations doing inspections Tuesday night.

“In all three situations, we sent inspectors out for emergency response, they are evaluating the situation and coordinate with building management,” Hannan said.

The problems led Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin to call for new hearings on high-rise window safety.

The Millennium Tower has had a documented history of problems with windows. The tower was cited by building inspectors back in 2020. That’s when a 41st floor window, that had been propped open by a resident, broke free in a storm and fell to the ground. No one was injured.

The city has pushed for a redesign of the building’s window system. Meanwhile, the tower’s homeowners association has repeatedly cautioned residents to keep windows closed in windy conditions.

Editor's note: The city of San Francisco has made a critical correction regarding a story NBC Bay Area first broke Tuesday night. The city initially said they found approximately 20 windows that had failed at the Salesforce Tower during Tuesday's storm. The city on Wednesday morning admitted it made a mistake and issued a correction - saying the failed windows are in the smaller Salesforce East building at 350 mission, not the larger Salesforce Tower. They say there is currently no threat to the public. Mission Street remains closed between the two buildings as the city continues to investigate.

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