Those obsessed with tall buildings and those who've been paying attention likely already knew this news. But while Salesforce Tower (née Transbay Tower), which once completed will stand at 1,070 feet, was at one point was touted as the soon-to-be tallest tower west of the Mississippi, that title is going to stay for now with the new Wilshire Grand, a 73-story, 1,099-foot-tall tower that just got its spire over the holiday weekend in downtown Los Angeles. The extra height, though, is largely because of that 295-foot spire, which is sort of a cheap gesture if you ask me, but apparently the spire will change color to reflect various holidays and things.
As ABC 7 reports via their LA affiliate, "The historic event drew people from all over the city" to watch the raising of the spire, which you can see via some dizzying GoPro footage below, taken from a camera attached to the crane itself.Curbed LA explains that the building will include 900 rooms as part of an Intercontinental hotel, as well as an observation deck and one of the highest open-air pools in the world. And, with its unique sail-shaped crown, "It’s the first skyscraper with a pointed roof to be built in downtown Los Angeles since 1974, when city regulations required all new skyscrapers to have flat tops for helipads."
The new Wilshire Grand, which may end up having to be called The Intercontinental Downtown Los Angeles, is set to open in March 2017.
Meanwhile, we'll be waiting until 2018 for our own tallest tower (at least north of LA) to be complete. Salesforce Tower will contain 61 stories of office space and it's as yet unclear whether there will be a public observation deck included it was something that Planning commissioners suggested, but it was not required of the developer. Due to some concerns about shadows cast by the building, because these are things we argue about in SF, the top 150 feet of the building will actually be a translucent lattice of horizontal ribs.
But you can see the thing rising quickly every day via this construction cam, and reportedly crews are adding a new story to that central concrete core every three days.