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The U.S. Bank Tower ( The Library Tower, First Interstate World Center), Los Angeles, California, USA

April 11th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

The U.S. Bank Tower, formerly the Library Tower and First Interstate World Center, is a skyscraper located at 633 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the ninth-tallest building in the United States, the tallest North American skyscraper west of the Mississippi River, the tallest building in California, and the tallest building with a helipad on the roof (this is required by the city building code). Rising 1,018 feet (310 m) in height, it is also the 31st-tallest building in the world as of March 2008. Until the construction of Taipei 101, it was also the 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 was started in 1987 and was completed in 1990. 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[citation needed] in Los Angeles, often used in establishing shots for the city in films and television programs.

The building is also known as the Library Tower due to its location across the street from the Los Angeles Central Library; it was built as part of the $1 billion redevelopment of the Library following two disastrous fires in 1986. 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 World Center after being bought by First Interstate Bank. After First Interstate merged with Wells Fargo Bank the name Library Tower was restored. In March 2003 the property was leased by U.S. Bancorp and the building was renamed U.S. Bank Tower. Residents, however, generally continue to refer to it as the Library Tower.

The tower has a large glass "crown" at its top that is illuminated at night. The crown is lighted with red, white, and blue on 4 July and red and green during the Christmas holiday season. It is also lit with purple and gold when the Los Angeles Lakers are playing in the NBA Playoffs and blue and white on Opening Day for the Los Angeles Dodgers. On February 28, 2004, two U.S. Bank logo signs, each standing 75 feet (23 m) high, were installed on the crown, amid controversy for their effect on the aesthetic appearance of the building (as was the case previously when First Interstate Bank's logos were placed on the crown between 1990 and 1997).

[Source: Wikipedia]

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