Wilshire Grand Center

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Wilshire Grand Center
Wilshire Grand Center.jpg
Alternative names Wilshire Grand Tower
Hotel chain InterContinental[1]
General information
Status Topped-out
Type hotel, restaurants, retail, offices, and observatory
Architectural style Metamodern[citation needed]
Location 900 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°03′00″N 118°15′33″W / 34.0500°N 118.2593°W / 34.0500; -118.2593Coordinates: 34°03′00″N 118°15′33″W / 34.0500°N 118.2593°W / 34.0500; -118.2593
Construction started 2012–13
Completed March 8, 2017
Cost US$1 billion
Owner Hanjin Group
Management Martin Project Management
Architectural 1,099 ft (335 m)[1]
Roof 934 ft (284.8 m)
Technical details
Floor count 73[1]
Floor area 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect AC Martin Partners[2]
Developer Thomas Properties Group, LLC
Structural engineer Brandow & Johnston, Inc.
Thornton Tomasetti
Main contractor Turner Construction
Known for First skyscraper in L.A. without a flat roof[1][3]
Other information
Number of rooms 900 (proposed)[1]

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 in the U.S. outside of New York City and Chicago. Its height surpasses the U.S. Bank Tower by 81 feet.[7] 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.[8] The development of the complex is estimated to cost $1 billion.[9][10] 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[1] occupying the 38th to the 70th floors[citation needed]

Floor plans[edit]

  • Floors basement to 2: Podium building with meeting rooms, ballroom, and retail.
  • Floors 3 to 29: Office
  • Floors 31 to 69: Hotel
  • Floors 70: Check-in lobby and Sky Bar
  • Floors 71 and 72: Restaurants
  • Floor 73: Open-air observation deck and rooftop pool.


Wilshire Grand Hotel, 2006

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,[citation needed] 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.[11]

Wilshire Grand Hotel demolition, 2013

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.[12][13]


Originally envisioned as two towers, the taller of which would have been 1,250 feet (380 m) tall, the complex is now planned to be a single 1,100-foot (335 m), 73-story tower consisting of a mixed-use 900-room hotel, retail, observation deck and office space. The Los Angeles-based architectural firm, A.C. Martin Partners is overseeing the project and prepared the current design. They took over from Thomas Properties, who managed the early proposals, but the owners became dissatisfied with their approach.[14] A distinctive feature of the building is its sail-shaped crown which will be illuminated with LED lighting at night.[15][16] 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.[10] Lead designer David C. Martin said that the spire and the entire exterior skin of the tower will be filled with programmable LED lighting.[17] The spire weighs 200,000 pounds (91,000 kg) and adds 294 foot (90 m) in height to the building.[18]

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" was the result of a 1974 fire ordinance which required all tall buildings in the city to include rooftop helipads.[19] 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.[20]


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 (16,500 m3) of concrete was poured over the course of 20 hours, creating an 18-foot-thick (5 m) foundation for what will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi.[21] Land use entitlements and construction staking services were provided by Psomas.[22]

The foundation is set on bedrock known as the Fernando Formation; this siltstone has been compressed by an ocean that formerly covered the area and is a good base for a building.[14]

On February 16, 2014, Guinness World Records announced that 21,200 cubic yards (16,200 m3) of concrete, or eighty-two million pounds (37,000,000 kg), was poured at the site the previous day, breaking a prior record of 21,000 cubic yards (16,000 m3) of concrete poured in one continuous pour,[23] which was set in 1999 during the construction of The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.[24]

On March 8, 2016, the topping out ceremony was held.[25]

On March 17, 2016, a construction worker died by suicide after jumping from the 53rd floor.[26]

On September 3, 2016, Wilshire Grand became the tallest building in the Western U.S. at 1,099 feet.[27][7] The supertall building is set to open on March 8, 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Why fewer skyscrapers are being built in the U.S.". CBS News. February 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ AC Martin Architects: Wilshire Grand Project
  3. ^ "Design". Wilshire Grand Center. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Wilshire Grand Center". CTBUH Skyscraper Database. 
  5. ^ Wilshire Grand Center at Emporis
  6. ^ "Wilshire Grand Center". SkyscraperPage. 
  7. ^ a b "Los Angeles skyscraper tops out as tallest Western building". bigstory.ap.org. September 3, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Wilshire Grand is Los Angeles' newest skyscraper". CBS News. February 21, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  9. ^ Anna Scott (April 3, 2009). "Korean Air Plans $1 Billion Downtown Project". LA Downtown News. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Vaillancourt, Ryan (7 February 2013). "New Wilshire Grand Design Revealed". LA Downtown News. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Wilshire Grand". 
  12. ^ Glick Kudler, Adrian (October 23, 2012). "Work Officially Begins at Site of LA's Second Tallest Tower". Curbed LA. 
  13. ^ Yen, Brigham (January 6, 2014). "Exclusive: New Renderings Revealed of "Hotel X" at Wilshire Grand Tower in Downtown LA". DTLA RISING. 
  14. ^ a b Curwen, Thomas (August 10, 2014). "How the Wilshire Grand tower project was born". Los Angeles Times. 
  15. ^ Yen, Brigham (February 7, 2013) "Breaking News: Downtown LA’s New Landmark Tower, Wilshire Grand, to Become West Coast’s Tallest" DTLA RISING with Brigham Yen Los Angeles
  16. ^ LA Times.com: graphics of skylight
  17. ^ Aragon, Greg (February 22, 2013) "New Wilshire Grand to Tower Above Downtown Los Angeles" ENRCalifornia McGraw Hill Financial
  18. ^ Slayton, Nicholas (12 September 2016). "An Amazing View of the Wilshire Grand Spire". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  19. ^ Rosenberg, Jeremy (January 16, 2012) "Laws That Shaped L.A.: Why is the Los Angeles Skyline So Bland?" KCET
  20. ^ Glick Kudler, Adrian (February 7, 2013) "New Wilshire Grand Will Be the West Coast's Tallest Tower" CURBED Los Angeles
  21. ^ "Wilshire Grand Center - The Skyscraper Center". 
  22. ^ "Wilshire Grand Hotel Site Development - Psomas". Psomas. 
  23. ^ http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/LA-workers-break-record-for-largest-concrete-pour-5239655.php[dead link]
  24. ^ "LA workers break record for largest concrete pour". Yahoo News. February 17, 2014. 
  25. ^ "The West Coast's tallest building tops out: The view from 1,100 feet up". Los Angeles Times. March 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Construction worker dies after falling 53 stories from downtown L.A. high-rise". Los Angeles Times. March 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  27. ^ Edwards, Chelsea (September 3, 2016). "Wilshire Grand in DTLA becomes tallest building west of Mississippi". KABC-TV. Retrieved September 4, 2016. 

External links[edit]