The Wilshire Grand Tower Is Officially The Tallest Building In The West!
At about 8 a.m. Saturday morning, the Wilshire Grand tower in downtown Los Angeles—that enormous building that's been growing for the past couple of years—officially became the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. A crane began lifting the building's 58-foot architectural spire from the ground at 7:22 a.m., and by 8:06 a.m. the piece was bolted into place, according to the L.A. Times.
Though the building isn't fully completed yet, the addition of the spire means it's technically as tall as it can get. News from earlier this year that the Wilshire Grand building had "topped out", refers to the building's central core, the concrete structural center that holds the whole thing together.
Coming in at about 1,099 feet high, the Wilshire Grand is just over 80 feet taller than downtown L.A.'s second tallest building (and previous west of the Mississippi record holder), the U.S. Bank Tower, according to KPCC. Curiously, both buildings have the same number of floors (73), and the U.S. Bank Tower actually has a slightly higher roof-level than the Wilshire Grand building. Whether or not "architectural" spires should be included in a building's height heavily contested in the architecture community, but the fact remains that both buildings are hella tall.
When the building opens in early 2017, the Wilshire Grand Center will include an observation deck, a shopping mall, an Intercontinental Hotel, several ritzy high-altitude restaurants and (of course) office space.
Here are some more recent pictures of the tower. You should give Josh Wiggans (@tower_guy) a follow in Instagram, too, if you're interested in seeing some more pictures of the building's construction. Wiggans is one of the crane operators on the construction site, and is actually the man responsible for hoisting the spire into place this morning.