Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Wilshire Grand Spire Rises 1100 Feet Above Downtown Los Angeles

Tallest building west of the Mississippi gets spire by September 3rd deadline.

 

September 15, 2016

An instantly iconic photo of four workers posed on top the 1100 foot high Wilshire grand center, is making the rounds on social media. The building's developer assured everyone that the workers were strapped into harnesses and climbed up the stairs in the center of the spire.

An instantly iconic photo of four workers posed on top the 1100 foot high Wilshire grand center, is making the rounds on social media. The building's developer assured everyone that the workers were strapped into harnesses and climbed up the stairs in the center of the spire.

The spire has not generally been permitted on Los Angeles buildings, because they are required to have helicopter landing pads for potential earthquake evacuation. The building was granted a variance.

"Saturday's completion of the 294-foot, 9-inch spire marks a milestone achievement in the construction of the Wilshire Grand tower - now officially the tallest building west of the Mississippi," said project spokeswoman Leigh Kramer.

The Wilshire Grand Center is a 335-meter (1,099 ft) skyscraper under construction in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles, California. It is the tallest building in Los Angeles and is also the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Its height surpasses the U.S. Bank Tower by 81 feet.

The building will be part of a mixed-use hotel, retail, observation decks, shopping malls and office complex, expected to revitalize downtown Los Angeles and the area surrounding the building.

The development of the complex is estimated to cost $1 billion. The plans include 67,000 square feet (6,225 m2) of retail, 677,000 square feet (62,895 m2) of Class A office space and 900 hotel rooms. InterContinental is the tower's hotel component, comprising 900 rooms and suites occupying the 38th to the 70th floors.

Seeking to revive the Wilshire Grand as a landmark and icon of Los Angeles, Korean Air conceived the idea of developing a new complex which would include the tallest building in Los Angeles, at 1,099 feet (335 m).

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, similar to New York's Times Square.

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 (32 m) in which the tower will stand, officially ending the deconstruction of the former hotel.

 

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