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New LA Skyscraper Is Tallest In The West

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A new skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles is now the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

On Saturday, construction workers placed a ten-ton spire atop the Wilshire Grand Center tower and bolted it into place, giving the single 1,099-feet, 73-story skyscraper the new distinction.

The Wilshire Grand Tower is now the tallest building in Los Angeles and also the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. It is 81 feet higher than the nearby U.S. Bank Tower, which held the tallest building record since 1989.

When complete, the $1 billion building complex will hold a 900-room hotel operated by InterContinental Group, a rooftop pool and sky lounge, ballrooms, and office space.

The A.C. Martin Partners-designed tower is set to open in March 2017. The skyscraper with a glass-sail-and-spire rooftop will also be a distinctive part of the Los Angeles skyline, as it will be the first to not feature a "flat roof" design.

The pattern of buildings in Los Angeles to feature flat-topped roofs had been required since the 1970s following a fire ordinance that required all tall buildings in the city to include rooftop helipads to be used in the event of emergencies.

But the Wilshire Grand was granted an exception after the building's architects proposed an alternative design that includes an elevator designed exclusively for firefighting, a tactical landing platform, and a video surveillance system to monitor each floor in the event of a fire.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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