Salesforce Park: A Green Sanctuary in the Sky

By the end of this year, the Salesforce Transit Center will be completed, as will the crown jewel on its summit: Salesforce Park. The sprawling rooftop space is perched seven stories above the city, and it covers 5.4 acres and will house 12 different forests and gardens representing various ecologically diverse regions around the world. A stroll through the park past the colors of Chile, Australia, South Africa (and, of course, California) is primed to be an experience like no other. In terms of elevated parks, this is about as ambitious as it gets.

Salesforce Park is well on its way to becoming a towering green sanctuary, but how exactly does one move hundreds of trees—469 to be exact—from the street to the roof in one of the busiest areas in the Bay Area? In the middle of the night, trees are lifted to the rooftop by cranes. This means that when most of San Francisco is sleeping, Patrick Trollip, the man in charge of relocating the trees to the 70-foot-high rooftop, is hard at work.

In a story for San Francisco Chronicle, Trollip elaborated on the unique process, saying “You are elevated, surrounded by these skyscrapers, yet it is quiet and peaceful, and there is no traffic. Then all of a sudden these massive trees are lowered onto the roof. I know these trees intimately, but it takes a while to get used to seeing them up there.” And these are not small shrubs and saplings we’re talking about. Some of the trees weigh as much as 30,000 pounds.

Elevator doors open to a bamboo forest, but then there are also redwoods, oak trees, palm trees, birch trees, olive trees, Chinese elms, columnar hornbeams, cacti, ferns, and succulents—and that’s really only scratching the surface. Landscape architect for the project, Adam Greenspan, explained to San Francisco Chronicle that he “[thinks] there’s going to be a tree for everyone” at Salesforce Park.

But there is only one residential building that will feature a private skybridge that leads right to the park: 181 Fremont. The people who live in the 181 Fremont condos will be the only San Franciscans who have this direct access from their home. And, in those moments when an escape from the din of the city is desired, the convenience of being only a few steps from Salesforce Park cannot be overstated.

The Salesforce Transit Center is set to become the premier transit hub of the West Coast, and Salesforce Park is one of the most anticipated projects in the United States. From the beginning, the sheer ambition of the undertaking made headlines, and now, as the trees ascend to their designated spots on the summit each night, the vision is becoming a vibrant and inspiring reality.