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Salesforce Tower: Watch a drone take off from the very top

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Warning: You will get dizzy

Local drone enthusiasts love few things more than buzzing the sites of new buildings under construction. And no wonder—just look at the view from the air during Curbed SF’s recent visit to the incoming Transbay Transit Center.

For those who brave the air from the ground, Salesforce Tower represents the final frontier.

After all, it’s one thing to know that it’s some 1,070 feet up to the top. It’s quite another to actually see the dizzying ramifications of those heights with one’s own eyes.

Enter Eddie Codel, the founder of San Francisco’s Flying Robot International Film Festival, who last week ascended the under-construction tower and released a drone from its apex.

“It's not everyday [sic] you get invited to fly a drone from the top of the tallest building in SF, but today was that day,” Codel said via Twitter, accompanied by a brief clip of the captured footage, which he granted Curbed SF permission to embed here.

Although it’s less than 30 seconds long, Codel’s video communicates the beauty and the vertigo of the tower’s view better than any yet recorded.

The way camera gently drifts back from a closeup of Codel and crew waving from the tower top and then begins its slow but steady ascent puts the viewer in mind of a spaceship preparing to float away from the earth forever, with the tower its launching point.

The perspective from the air—”Of course, the views are freaking spectacular up here” Codel added in a separate tweet—also highlights the real significance of the building’s size.

Breaking records is one thing, but the view from above illustrates the value of having one high point from which to survey all other high points.

Almost all San Franciscans (helicopter pilots aside) have long been deprived of perhaps the best perspective of the city’s beauty simply because there was nowhere to see it all from at once. Until now.

Eddie Codel