The 10 tallest skyscrapers in Los Angeles

The famous Sunset Boulevard, linking the historic Los Angeles city centre to Malibu. The exclusive Bel Air district, with all its luxury villas. And Hollywood Boulevard, too, with its Walk of Fame, and Mulholland Drive, one of the most famous streets in the world of cinema, as well as Beverly Hills, where luxury reigns supreme. There’s no doubt about it: films, TV series and novels have all helped us to get to know Los Angeles a bit even before we have ever set foot there. For example, everyone knows that this big city in California has one of the most impressive skylines in the world, with a total of over 550 skyscrapers soaring up into the sky. We are talking about a city with almost 4 million inhabitants, the second most populous city in the United States after New York City, and one that is continuing to grow all the time.

The top ten tallest skyscrapers in Los Angeles

So with that background, it’s not at all surprising that there is a large number of skyscrapers: the only way to stop the concreting over of the territory without impeding the city’s growth is by exploiting verticality. And that’s something Los Angeles has done massively in past years: for example, it built the first skyscraper to exceed 150 metres in height in 1967: that was Union Bank Plaza, with its grid-like façade, which stands 157 metres tall. But which are the 10 tallest skyscrapers in Los Angeles today? Here are the top ten tallest buildings in the most populous city in California!

1- Wilshire Grand Center – 335 metres

The tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles, the Wilshire Grand Center, stands an amazing 1,100 feet or 335.3 metres high. Inaugurated in 2017, construction on the building started in February 2014, with, among other things, a concrete pour of 16,500 cubic metres, which lasted continuously for 20 hours. This concrete pour, necessary to construct the foundations of the tallest tower in Los Angeles (as well as the tallest tower on the West Coast and the 10th tallest in the United States) entered the Guinness Book of World Records, beating the record set by the Venetian casino in Las Vegas, that had a continuous concrete pour of 16,000 cubic metres. The skyscraper has 73 floors: the roof is 284 metres from the ground, while a long spire enables it to reach the total height of 335.3 metres. The building was awarded the Structural Engineering Award of Excellence in 2019, by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; inside it are hotels, shops, commercial centres, offices and observation points. It was on this site that that the Hotel Statler was opened in 1952, later re-named the Wilshire Grand Hotel in the 1990s, which was demolished in 2013, to make room for the skyscraper. Its construction cost about 1.2 billion dollars.

2- U.S. Bank Tower – 310 metres

The second tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles is the U.S. Bank Tower, which held the record for the tallest building in the city from 1990, when it was inaugurated, until 2016, when it was overtaken by the Wilshire Grand Center. One thing that should be pointed out, however, is that the roof of this skyscraper, built at the end of the 1980s, is 26 metres higher than the roof of the Wilshire, which only took first place in the rankings of the top ten tallest skyscrapers in Los Angeles thanks to its very tall spire. Construction on the U.S. Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles, also known as the Library Tower and formerly the First Interstate Bank World Center, started in 1987. It features a heliport on its roof, the highest heliport in the world; we should also note that until the construction of the Taipei 101, the U.S. Bank Tower was the tallest building in the world built in an active seismic zone. In fact, this skyscraper was designed to withstand earthquake tremors of up to 8.3 on the Richter scale. Due to the unusual shape of its upper part, and the glass crown at the top, this is one of the most recognizable skyscrapers in Los Angeles.

3- AON Center – 262 metres

Built between 1971 and 1973, this skyscraper was for a long time the tallest building west of the Mississippi. With its 62 floors and slender shape, it has dominated the Los Angeles skyline for a very long time. In 1988, a fire broke out on the 12th floor (causing one fatality), which gave rise to fears for the stability of the building.

4- Two California Plaza – 229 metres

Part of the California Plaza Project, which also includes the One California Plaza skyscraper, this building was constructed between 1990 and 1992. Inside it are offices, shops, a Museum of Contemporary Art, an art school and a swimming pool.

5- Gas Company Tower – 228 metres

Construction on this 52-floor building began in 1988 and was completed in 1991. It is easily recognizable for the curved glass facade on its highest part and has appeared in many Hollywood films.

6- Bank of America Plaza – 224 metres

Built between 1972 and 1974 and known for many years as the Security Pacific Plaza, this skyscraper also features a garden with over 200 trees and 3 waterfalls.

7- 777 Tower – 221 metres

The unusual name of this building derives from its address, at 777 South Figueroa Street. It is also known as the Pelli Tower, in honour of its architect. Built between 1988 and 1991, it is clad externally in white metal and glass.

8- Wells Fargo Tower – 221 metres

This building is exactly the same height as the previous one and is part of a complex consisting of 2 different buildings: the Wells Fargo Tower and the KPMG Tower. The former is 221 metres tall, while the latter is 171 metres tall (making it the 16th tallest building in Los Angeles).

9- Figueroa at Wilshire – 219 metres

Built between 1988 and 1990 on the site of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Figueroa at Wilshire was designed by the Albert C. Martin & Associates studio and is 219 metres tall.

10- City National Plaza

To conclude the rankings of the 10 tallest skyscrapers in Los Angeles is this complex of two twin towers, the City National Tower and the Paul Hastings Tower. The City National Plaza was the tallest building in Los Angeles for just one year, 1972, before being overtaken by the AON Center.