Wilshire Grand Tower
|Wilshire Grand Center|
|Alternative names||Wilshire Grand Tower|
|Type||Luxury hotel, retail, office|
|Location||900 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
|Management||Martin Project Management|
|Architectural||1,100 ft (340 m)|
|Floor area||1,700,000 sq ft (160,000 m2)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||AC Martin Partners|
|Structural engineer||Brandow & Johnston, Inc.Thornton Tomasetti|
|Main contractor||Turner Construction|
Wilshire Grand Center is a 335 m (1,100 ft) supertall skyscraper under construction in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles. The tower will become the tallest building in Los Angeles, the Western and West Coast of the United States, and the tallest outside of New York City and Chicago upon completion. The building will be part of a mixed-use hotel, retail, 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 original Wilshire Grand Hotel opened in 1952 as the Hotel Statler, on the site of the new Wilshire Grand. In 1950, the City of Los Angeles issued the largest single building permit at the time for the construction of the hotel, which cost over $15 million. The hotel quickly became a landmark of downtown Los Angeles, and over its 59-year lifespan attracted famous guests including President John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II.
In 1954, two years after its opening, Hilton Hotels & Resorts purchased the Statler Hotels chain, renaming the hotel the Statler Hilton. In 1968 Hilton completed a $2.5 million renovation of the hotel and renamed it the Los Angeles Hilton & Tower. Reliance Group later purchased the hotel in 1983 and invested $30 million in renovations. Korean Air purchased the Los Angeles Hilton from Reliance in 1989. They changed the hotel's management and it became the Omni Los Angeles Hotel in 1995 and then later the Wilshire Grand Hotel in 1999.
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 335 m (1,100 ft). 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 in which the tower will stand, officially ending the deconstruction of the former hotel.
Originally envisioned as two towers, the taller of which would have been 380 m (1250 ft) tall, the complex is now planned to be a single 335 m (1,100 ft) 73-story tower consisting of a mixed-use 900-room hotel, retail and office space. The current design of Wilshire Grand was designed by AC Martin Architects. A distinctive feature of the building includes its sail-shaped crown which will rise 1,100 feet in the sky and be illuminated with LED lighting at night, emulating the style of many towers located in the megacities of East Asia. The tower will spearhead part of a new planned light and sign district that will extend along the Figueroa Corridor down to L.A. Live. According to recent renderings, it is unclear however to what extent LED lighting and advertising will be applied. Lead designer David Martin said that the spire and the entire exterior skin of the tower will be filled with programmable LED lighting. The 1,100-foot (340 m) supertall is planned for a 2017 opening.
The skyscraper will also be a distinctive part of the Los Angeles skyline, as it will be the first to not feature a "flat roof" design, an integral part of buildings in Los Angeles today. The pattern of buildings in Los Angeles to feature these "flat roofs" were the result of a 1974 fire ordinance which required all tall buildings in the city to include rooftop helipads. The Wilshire Grand was granted an exception by the Los Angeles City Fire Department however, as the building will include advances in fire safety and building technology which would exceed the city's current fire code.
Turner Construction received the contracts for both the demolition of the former hotel and the construction of the new tower, the latter of which began on February 15, 2014 when 21,600 cubic yards of concrete was poured over the course of 20 hours, creating an 18-foot thick foundation for what will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
On February 16, 2014, Guinness World Records announced that 21,200 cubic yards, or 82 million pounds, of concrete was poured at the site the previous day, breaking a prior record of 21,000 cubic yards of concrete poured in one continuous pour. The previous record of 21,000 cubic yards was set during the construction of The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas in 1999.
- "Los Angeles Downtown News". LA Downtown News. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Vaillancourt, Ryan. "New Grand Wilshire Design Revealed". article. Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
6. http://la.curbed.com/archives/2012/10/work_officially_begins_at_site_of_las_second_tallest_tower.php 7. http://brighamyen.com/tag/wilshire-grand-tower-downtown-la/
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