US Bank Tower (Los Angeles)

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US Bank Tower
Los Angeles Library Tower (small) crop.jpg
US Bank Tower (Los Angeles) is located in Los Angeles
US Bank Tower (Los Angeles)
Location within Los Angeles
Former names Library Tower
First Interstate Bank World Center
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°03′04″N 118°15′16″W / 34.05101°N 118.254355°W / 34.05101; -118.254355Coordinates: 34°03′04″N 118°15′16″W / 34.05101°N 118.254355°W / 34.05101; -118.254355
Construction started 1987[1]
Completed 1989
Cost US$350 million
Owner Overseas Union Enterprise
Management Hines Interests
Architectural 310.3 m (1,018 ft)
Top floor 294.92 m (967.6 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 73
2 below ground
Floor area 1,432,540 sq ft (133,087 m2)
Lifts/elevators 24
Design and construction
Architect Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Ellerbe Becket
Developer Maguire Properties
Structural engineer CBM Engineers
James A. Knowles & Associates
Main contractor Turner Construction Company

The US Bank Tower, formerly Library Tower and First Interstate Bank World Center, is a 1,018-foot (310 m) skyscraper at 633 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles, California. It is the tallest building in California, the fourteenth tallest in the United States, the second tallest west of the Mississippi River, and the 92nd tallest building in the world. Because local building codes required all high-rise buildings to have a helipad, it was known as the tallest building in the world with a roof-top heliport from its completion in 1989 to 2004 when Taipei 101 opened. It is also the third tallest building in a major active seismic region; its structure was designed to resist an earthquake of 8.3 on the Richter scale. It consists of 73 stories above ground and two parking levels below ground. Construction began in 1987 with completion in 1989. The building was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and cost $350 million to build. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in Los Angeles, often used in establishing shots for the city in films and television programs.


US Bank Tower in Los Angeles was sold to Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd (OUE), a hotel and property group controlled by Indonesia's Lippo Group in 2013. OUE, a Singapore-based hotel and property company run by Indonesian billionaire Stephen Riady, acquired the tower and other related assets for $367.5 million. OUE acquired the 72-floor office building, the adjacent Maguire Gardens park, and a car park from a unit of Los Angeles-based real-estate investment trust MPG Office Trust Inc.[7][8]


The building is also known as Library Tower because it was built as part of the $1 billion Los Angeles Central Library redevelopment area following two disastrous fires in 1986, and its location across the street.[9] The City of Los Angeles sold air rights to the developers of the tower to help pay for the reconstruction of the library. The building was also known for a time as First Interstate Bank World Center but the name Library Tower was restored after First Interstate Bancorp merged with Wells Fargo Bank. In March 2003, the property was leased by U.S. Bancorp and the building was renamed US Bank Tower. Residents, however, generally continue to refer to it as Library Tower.

The tower has a large glass crown at its top that is illuminated at night.[10][not in citation given] The crown has/is lit as follows:

On February 28, 2004, two 23 m (75 ft) “U.S. Bank” logo signs were installed on the crown, amid controversy for their effect on the aesthetic appearance of the building, much like the previous First Interstate Bank logos were placed on the crown between 1990 and 1998. First Interstate Bank's “I” logo on the crown was in the 1993 Guinness Book of World Records for highest placed logo.

OUE Skyspace[edit]

In July 2014, Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. (OUE), the new owners of the skyscraper, announced construction of an observation deck named OUE Skyspace.[11] on the 69th and 70th floors and a restaurant named 71 Above[12]on the 71st floor. The facilities opened on June 24, 2016,[13] following remodeling and construction costing $31 million[14] that included a makeover of the ground floor lobby as well as a separate second floor entrance for tourists, and a skylobby and exhibit hall on the 54th floor. Access to the observation deck costs $25 per person.[15] For an additional $8 visitors can take a trip down a transparent glass slide affixed to the outside of the building between the 70th and 69th floors.[16]

Terrorist target[edit]

On June 16, 2004, the 9/11 Commission reported that the original plan for the September 11 attacks called for the hijacking of ten planes, one of which was to be crashed into the building.[17]

On October 6, 2005, House officials stated that the government had foiled a previously undisclosed second plot to crash a plane into the building in mid-2002. In his televised 2006 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush asserted that American counterterrorism officials foiled a plot to fly planes into the tower, which he erroneously identified as “Liberty Tower”.[18] According to President Bush, Al-Qaeda leader Khaled Sheikh Mohammed's plan was to use Asian confederates from Jemaah Islamiyah recruited by Islamic militant Hambali for the hijacking. President Bush asserted the hijackers were going to use shoe bombs to breach the plane's cockpit door. Some counter-terrorism experts have expressed doubt that the plot was ever fully developed or likely to occur.[19]

Major tenants[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The building made a notable appearance in the 1996 film Independence Day, in which the tower was the first structure to be destroyed during the beginning of a massive alien invasion.
  • In the 2000 movie Disney's The Kid (2000), Bruce Willis' character, an image consultant, works in the building.
  • In the 2001 movie Swordfish, the escape bus is deposited on top of the building by the Skyhook helicopter. Note that while the helipad is rated for 12 tons, a loaded bus can weigh upwards of 16.)
  • In the 2004 movie The Day After Tomorrow, the US Bank Tower is severely damaged by the super tornado, but ultimately still standing.
  • The 2007 film, Dragon Wars features a giant monster dragon that first destroys and rampages through the city and then climbs the tower.
  • In the 2007 movie Southland Tales, The building stands for US-IDENT, a Big Brother surveillance agency that is under the guise of a national security think-tank.
  • In the 2009 disaster film 2012, it is one of the many buildings in Los Angeles destroyed by a major earthquake.
  • In the 2015 disaster film, San Andreas, the tower is among many high-rise buildings in Downtown Los Angeles that collapse due to a 9.1 earthquake striking the city. In one scene, protagonist Ray Gaines (played by Dwayne Johnson) barely flew his helicopter past the collapsing tower.
  • In the History Channel series Life After People, the US Bank Tower is shown withstanding a giant fire that consumed nearly all Los Angeles, and "The Big One", an earthquake measuring 8.0 in the Richter scale. Finally, it collapses 600 years after the disappearance of people.
  • The 2002 music video for "Thug Lovin'" by Ja Rule and Bobby Brown was filmed on the roof of tower.
  • The building was featured as an unnamed tower in the 2004 game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and then also features in the 2013 game Grand Theft Auto V as the Maze Bank Tower.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Myers, David W. (June 21, 1987). "L.A. Tower to Be Tallest on Coast : Ground Breaking Due Tuesday for 73-Story Downtown Building". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ "US Bank Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Database. 
  3. ^ US Bank Tower (Los Angeles) at Emporis
  4. ^ US Bank Tower (Los Angeles) at Glass Steel and Stone
  5. ^ "US Bank Tower". SkyscraperPage. 
  6. ^ US Bank Tower (Los Angeles) at Structurae
  7. ^ A. Ananthalakshmi; Rodney Joyce (11 March 2013). "U.S. Bank Tower, tallest building west of Mississippi, changes hands". Reuters. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Indonesian billionaire Stephen Riady to buy US Bank Tower for $367.5 mn news". Domain-b. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "First Interstate World Center (Library Tower)". Building Big. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  10. ^ Staff (June 19, 1988). "Second Library Tower : Construction Scheduled for Fall". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ Painter, Alysia Gray (July 15, 2015). Look Up: U.S. Bank Tower's OUE Skyspace LA. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Balla, Leslie (June 29, 2015). Get Ready to Dine Way, Way Above L.A.. Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "L.A.'s tallest skyscraper to get observation deck". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  16. ^ Khouri, Andrew (March 1, 2016). Glass slide suspended from 1,000 feet up? It's coming to U.S. Bank Tower in downtown L.A.. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  17. ^ Peter Baker; Susan B. Glasser (October 7, 2005). "Bush Says 10 Plots by Al Qaeda Were Foiled". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  18. ^ George W. Bush (9 February 2006). "President Discusses Progress in War on Terror to National Guard". The White House. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  19. ^ Mark Coultan; Tom Allard; Mark Forbes (11 February 2006). "Bush seizes on al-Qaeda plot to hit Los Angeles". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  20. ^ MPG Office Trust Signs Approximately 25,000 Square Feet Lease At US Bank Tower With Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  21. ^ U.S. Bank Tower Signs New Tenant

External links[edit]