Wilshire Grand Center

(2016)* – View showing the 1,100-foot tall Wilshire Grand Center located in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles.  


Historical Notes

Opened in 2017, the Wilshire Grand Center was designed by AC Martin and Partners in the Meta Modern-Style (post modernism). The 39th-70th floors are the hotel component of the skyscraper (Hotel Intercontinental).

Wilshire Grand Center is located in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles, occupying the entire city block between Wilshire Blvd. and 7th, Figueroa, and Francisco streets. It is the tallest building in Los Angeles; west of the Mississippi River; outside of New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia; and the 14th tallest in the United States. Its height surpasses the U.S. Bank Tower by 82 ft. The building is part of a mixed-use hotel, retail, observation decks, shopping mall, and office complex. InterContinental is the tower's hotel component, comprising 900 rooms and suites.^




(2017)^ - West face of Wilshire Grand Tower. View is looking East on Wilshire. Note the ornate Wilshire Special streetlight in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

The original Wilshire Grand Hotel opened in 1952 as the Hotel Statler, on the site of the new Wilshire Grand Center. Seeking to revive the Wilshire Grand as a landmark and icon of Los Angeles, Chairman and CEO Cho Yang-ho of Korean Air conceived the idea of developing a new complex which would include the tallest building in Los Angeles, at 1,099 feet. It is also part of an urban development effort to revitalize the Figueroa Street corridor of downtown Los Angeles as a vibrant light-and-sign district.  Deconstruction of the original building began on October 23, 2012, and continued for over a year until November 21, 2013, when a bottoming-out ceremony was held in the 106-foot pit in which the tower will stand, officially ending the deconstruction of the former hotel..^




(2020)^ - Looking up toward the top of the 1,100-foot tall Wilshire Grand Tower. Photo by Howard Gray  


Historical Notes

The building, while recognized as "tallest" in the city by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, achieves this recognition through the height of its decorative sail and spire rather than highest occupiable floor space. From the ground, due to local topography, the Wilshire Grand sits visibly lower than other surrounding buildings. From the vantage of the building's 73rd floor observation deck, the US Bank Tower is markedly higher in elevation, and remains downtown Los Angeles' most prominent visual landmark.^




(2020)^ - Height comparison for three of the tallest skyscrapers in Los Angeles.  


Historical Notes

Should a skyscraper's spire count towards its total height? It's a hotly contested issue amongst architects and designers. Does a building's height stop at the highest usable floor, or should the spire above it count, too? What's the difference between a spire and an antenna? Does it really matter?

Adding spire is a cheaper way to increase height of the building, the cost for a skinny mast is much cheaper than solid concrete core and habitable floors.

Developers build skyscrapers not only for its functionalities, they also want their buildings higher than others, so that to show prestige and draw more attention.*


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