Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles

Saturday, 1 December 2018 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Greater Los Angeles Area, House of the Month
Reading Time:  7 minutes

© salewskia/cc-by-sa-4.0

© salewskia/cc-by-sa-4.0

Wilshire Grand Center is a 1,100-foot (335.3 m) skyscraper in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles, California. It is the tallest building in Los Angeles, the tallest building in California, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River and outside of New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia, and the 10th tallest building in the United States. Its height surpasses the U.S. Bank Tower by 82ft (25m). The building is part of a mixed-use hotel, retail, observation decks, shopping mall, and office complex, expected to revitalize downtown Los Angeles and the area surrounding the building. The development of the complex is estimated to cost $1.2 billion. 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.

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, and later the Los Angeles Hilton and Towers. 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.

Former Wilshire Grand Hotel © Aroundaz/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Thistle33/cc-by-sa-4.0 © salewskia/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Fredchang931124/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Downtowngal/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Former Wilshire Grand Hotel © Aroundaz/cc-by-sa-3.0
Seeking to revive the Wilshire Grand as a landmark and icon of Los Angeles, Chairman and CEO Cho Yang-ho of 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.

Originally envisioned as two towers, the taller of which would have been 1,250 feet (380 m) tall, the complex is now a single 1,100-foot (335 m), 73-story tower consisting of a mixed-use 889-room hotel, retail, observation deck and office space. The Los Angeles–based architectural firm, A.C. Martin Partners, oversaw the project and prepared the current design. They took over from Thomas Properties, which managed the early proposals, but which was replaced when the owners became dissatisfied with their approach. A distinctive feature of the building is its sail-shaped crown which is illuminated with LED lighting at night. 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 C. Martin said that the spire and the entire exterior skin of the tower will be filled with programmable LED lighting. The spire weighs 200,000 pounds (91,000 kg) and adds 294 feet (90 m) in height to the building. The skyscraper is a distinctive part of the Los Angeles skyline, as it is the first building over 75 feet tall built since 1974 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 in response to the devastating 1974 Joelma Fire in São Paulo, Brazil, in which helicopters could not be used to effect rescues from the rooftop of the building because of the lack of a landing spot, and could otherwise have prevented many deaths. 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 (such as a reinforced concrete central core) which would exceed the city’s current fire code. The elevators in Wilshire Grand Center are supplied by Otis Elevator Company. The four express cars servicing the hotel’s main lobby on the 70th floor are the second fastest in North America, traveling at 9 m/s (1800 fpm).

Read more on Wilshire Grand Center and Wikipedia Wilshire Grand Center. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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