U.S. Bank Tower (Los Angeles)

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U.S. Bank Tower
Los Angeles Library Tower (small) crop.jpg
U.S. Bank Tower (Los Angeles) is located in Los Angeles
U.S. Bank Tower (Los Angeles)
Location within Los Angeles
Former namesLibrary Tower
First Interstate Bank World Center
Record height
Tallest in California (3rd) since 1986[I]
Preceded byAon Center (4th)
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Architectural stylePostmodernism[1]
Location633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, California, USA
Coordinates34°03′04″N 118°15′15″W / 34.0510°N 118.2542°W / 34.0510; -118.2542Coordinates: 34°03′04″N 118°15′15″W / 34.0510°N 118.2542°W / 34.0510; -118.2542
Current tenantsSee Tenants
Construction started1987[2]
CostUS$350 million
OwnerOverseas Union Enterprise
LandlordOverseas Union Enterprise (OUE)
Architectural1,018 ft (310 m)
Top floor968 ft (295 m)
Technical details
Floor count73
2 below ground
Floor area1,432,540 sq ft (133,087 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectPei Cobb Freed & Partners
Ellerbe Becket
DeveloperMaguire Properties
Structural engineerCBM Engineers
James A. Knowles & Associates
Main contractorTurner Construction Company

U.S. Bank Tower, formerly Library Tower and First Interstate Bank World Center, is a 1,018-foot (310.3 m) skyscraper at 633 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the third-tallest building in California, the second-tallest building in Los Angeles, the fifteenth-tallest in the United States, the third-tallest west of the Mississippi River after the Salesforce Tower and the Wilshire Grand Center, and the 92nd-tallest building in the world, after being surpassed by the Wilshire Grand Center.[8] 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 2010 when the China World Trade Center Tower III opened.[9] 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, and often appears in establishing shots for the city in films and television programs.


U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles was sold to OUE Ltd (OUE), a diversified real estate owner, developer and operator group, in 2013. OUE, a Singapore-listed 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 parking lot from a unit of Los Angeles-based real-estate investment trust MPG Office Trust Inc.[10][11]


The building was first known and is alternatively known today as the Library Tower, because it was built as part of the $1 billion Los Angeles Central Library redevelopment area, following two disastrous fires at the library in 1986, and its location across the street.[12] 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 the U.S. Bank Tower. Some local residents however, continue to refer to it as Library Tower.

The tower has a large glass crown at its top that is illuminated at night.[13]

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.[citation needed]

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.[14]

On October 6, 2005, House[discuss] 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 the “Liberty Tower” instead of the building's former name, the Library Tower.[15] 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.[16]

OUE Skyspace[edit]

Interior of the OUE Skyspace on the seventy-first floor of the U.S. Bank Tower looking northwest.

In July 2014, OUE Ltd. (OUE), the new owners of the skyscraper, announced construction of an observation deck named OUE Skyspace.[17] on the 69th and 70th floors and a restaurant named 71Above[18] on the 71st floor. The facilities opened on June 24, 2016,[19] following remodeling and construction costing $31 million[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

Major tenants[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The building and the Los Angeles skyline is featured many times in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and other movies from the franchise.
  • In the 1990 film Predator 2, Danny Glover is seen chasing the Predator around different parts of Los Angeles.
  • In the 1993 film Falling Down, the tower can be seen in the distance. An incomplete U.S. Bank Tower is visible on the movie's cover.
  • The building made several appearances during the early seasons of the Power Rangers franchise before production was moved to New Zealand in early 2003.
  • 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 1996 film Escape from L.A., the tower is heavily damaged but still standing after an earthquake that separates Los Angeles from the mainland.
  • The U.S. Bank Tower has also appeared in Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2.
  • The building is also seen in the 1994 film Speed.
  • In the 2000 movie Disney's The Kid (2000), Bruce Willis's 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 U.S. 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 LA that collapse due to a 9.1-magnitude 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 U.S. Bank Tower is shown withstanding a giant fire that consumed nearly all of LA ten years after humans go extinct, and "The Big One", an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale after 50 years (though the top floors collapse due to fire damage and 50 years of neglect having weakened the structure). Finally, it collapses after a moderate earthquake 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 the tower.
  • The 2002 music video for "Drift & Die" by Puddle of Mudd was filmed on the roof of the tower shown in the last scene.
  • The building was featured as an unnamed tower in the city of Los Santos 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.
  • The building collapses during a magnitude 10.5 earthquake in the TV miniseries 10.5.

Tallest roof-top helipad[edit]

The US Bank Tower was the world's tallest building with a roof-top helipad until the China World Trade Center Tower III in Beijing, which was completed in 2010 and whose roof-top helipad is 1,083 feet (330 m) high.[25]

As of March 2018, the world's tallest building with a roof-top helipad was the Guangzhou International Finance Center, which also was completed in 2010 and whose roof-top helipad is 1,439 feet (439 m) high.[26][27]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "US Bank Tower". Emporis. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "U.S. Bank Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  4. ^ U.S. Bank Tower at Emporis
  5. ^ U.S. Bank Tower at Glass Steel and Stone (archived)
  6. ^ "U.S. Bank Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  7. ^ U.S. Bank Tower at Structurae
  8. ^ "LA now has a new tallest building". L.A. Times. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Tall Buildings in Numbers: Tallest Helipads". CTBUH Journal, 2014 Issue II. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  10. ^ A. Ananthalakshmi; Rodney Joyce (11 March 2013). "U.S. Bank Tower, tallest building west of Mississippi, changes hands". Reuters. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Indonesian billionaire Stephen Riady to buy U.S. Bank Tower for $367.5 mn news". Domain-b. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  12. ^ "First Interstate World Center (Library Tower)". Building Big. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  13. ^ Staff (June 19, 1988). "Second Library Tower : Construction Scheduled for Fall". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ Peter Baker; Susan B. Glasser (October 7, 2005). "Bush Says 10 Plots by Al Qaeda Were Foiled". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  15. ^ George W. Bush (9 February 2006). "President Discusses Progress in War on Terror to National Guard". The White House. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Painter, Alysia Gray (July 15, 2015). Look Up: U.S. Bank Tower's OUE Skyspace LA. nbclosangeles.com. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  18. ^ Balla, Leslie (June 29, 2015). Get Ready to Dine Way, Way Above L.A.. Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  19. ^ http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7856151-oue-skyspace-los-angeles-launch/
  20. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/384370011.html
  21. ^ "L.A.'s tallest skyscraper to get observation deck". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ MPG Office Trust Signs Approximately 25,000 Square Feet Lease At U.S. Bank Tower With Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  24. ^ U.S. Bank Tower Signs New Tenant
  25. ^ "Tall Buildings in Numbers: Tallest Helipads". CTBUH Journal, 2014 Issue II. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Tall Buildings in Numbers: Tallest Helipads". CTBUH Journal, 2014 Issue II, page 48. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  27. ^ pinnacleadmin (21 October 2015). "The World's Highest Helipads". ThorTech.com. Retrieved 28 March 2018.

External links[edit]