City National Plaza

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City National Plaza
Paul Hastings and City National Towers
Alternative names ARCO Center
ARCO Plaza
ARCO Plaza North Tower
ARCO Plaza South Tower
Atlantic Richfield Towers
Bank of America Tower
Los Angeles Twin Towers
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 505-555 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°03′03″N 118°15′25″W / 34.0508°N 118.2569°W / 34.0508; -118.2569Coordinates: 34°03′03″N 118°15′25″W / 34.0508°N 118.2569°W / 34.0508; -118.2569
Construction started 1970
Completed 1972
Management CommonWealth Partners
Roof 213.3 m (700 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 52
Floor area 206,000 m2 (2,220,000 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 64
Design and construction
Architect Albert C. Martin & Associates

City National Plaza is a twin tower skyscraper complex on South Flower Street in western Downtown Los Angeles, California. It was originally named ARCO Plaza upon opening in 1972.


Richfield Tower[edit]

Further information: Richfield Tower

The present complex is on the site of the landmark Richfield Tower, that was designed in the Art Deco style by Morgan, Walls & Clements, and completed in 1929. It was the headquarters of the Atlantic Richfield Oil company. It was demolished in 1969.

ARCO Plaza[edit]

The current skyscraper complex was built as the ARCO Plaza, with a pair of 213.3 m (700 ft) 52-story office towers. One became the new world headquarters for the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), the present day The Paul Hastings Tower.[9] An underground shopping complex was accessed by open escalators from the street level plaza.

Upon completion in 1972, the ARCO Plaza towers were the tallest buildings in the city for one year before being overtaken by Aon Center, and were the tallest twin towers in the world until the completion of the World Trade Center in New York City. The towers are the tallest twin buildings in the United States outside of New York City, where the 55-floor Time Warner Center stands at 750 ft (230 m).

The towers are constructed of steel frames covered with polished panels of forest green granite and panes of bronze glass, however, in 2016, the exterior of the top two floors and the service roof of The Paul Hastings Tower were modified on the north, east, and south flanks to house their upgraded headquarters and offices. This modification features silver trim and panes of light green glass panels.

City National Plaza[edit]

The ARCO Plaza complex was renamed City National Plaza, and the south and north towers, respectively, were renamed City National Tower and Paul Hastings Tower.[10] The low-rise building at the back of the plaza is known as the Jewel Box, and is occupied by the Gensler architectural firm.


"Jewel Box"[edit]

Paul Hastings Tower[edit]

Photograph of the Paul Hastings Tower from ground level in October 2013

City National Bank Tower[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Featured throughout the 1971 movie The Omega Man (which was filmed during the Plaza's construction phase) in various stages of completion.
  • Plaza area and water sculpture featured in the 1976 film, Marathon Man.
  • The north "Paul Hastings" tower was depicted as being struck by an air-to-air Sidewinder missile (a shot which utilized a detailed miniature of both towers), in the 1983 film, Blue Thunder.
  • In the 2015 film San Andreas, the twin towers were shown swaying violently during an earthquake and in a later shot, the Paul Hastings tower was shown falling on the City National Tower.


City National Plaza Twin Towers

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Cameron, Robert (1990). Above Los Angeles. San Francisco: Cameron & Company. ISBN 0-918684-48-X. 

External links[edit]