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-   -   LOS ANGELES | Library Tower | 1,018 FT / 310 M | 73 FLOORS | 1988 (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=150817)

plinko May 9, 2008 4:31 AM

LOS ANGELES | Library Tower | 1,018 FT / 310 M | 73 FLOORS | 1988
 
Originally conceived as the tallest building in a seismic zone 4, Maguire Thomas Partners traded air rights to the much delapitated LA Central Library to develop two fabulous skyscraping architectural dynamos: the Library Tower and the Gas Company Tower.

The Library Tower (orginally First Interstate World Center) was designed by Henry Cobb of PeiCobbFreed. The design is based on a series of overlapped squares inscribed within circles. The resulting shapes, along with certain setbacks create a fantastically intricate facade culminating in a full glass star-shaped crown.

The crown is brightly lit white most days, but also other color schemes for holidays and sports.

The building is across the street from Bertram Goodhue's LA Central Library (a true gem) and wedged between the deco classic Edison Building and Lawrence Halprin's Bunker Hill Steps.

In 200(4)? US Bank became a large tenant in the building and also bought naming rights. They bastardized the crown with not only a logo, but also a name plate which is highly unfortunate looking. It may now be called the US Bank Tower...but will likely always be known as the Library Tower.

So I share my photos from over the years...

How's this for old skool? Check the First Interstate logo at the top (removed in 1992 when Wells Fargo took over FI)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB023.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB017.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB018.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB003.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB004.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB005.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB014.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB010.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB021.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB015.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB019.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB022.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB012.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB001.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB002.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB016.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB013.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB011.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB020.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB006.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB007.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB008.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../LA-LIB009.jpg

JDRCRASH May 9, 2008 4:49 AM

Ahh, the U.S. Bank Tower....my most favorite building, second to ESB in NYC.

antinimby May 9, 2008 4:53 AM

They should just keep the Library Tower name instead of constantly changing it to whoever the latest bank tenant/owner is.

DowntownCharlieBrown May 9, 2008 6:08 PM

^Agree. I never call it anything but the Library Tower when speaking or writing about it.

I dislike logos across the top of buildings, also. But hanging one on The Library Tower's crown is sacraligious. Hope it is ok, Plinko, but I took one of your pictures and returned the crown to it's intended state.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2046/...ebf312a274.jpg

btw, thanks Plinko for the thread and all the great pics! :tup:

JDRCRASH May 9, 2008 6:24 PM

I've said it before, and i'll say it again; I think that having a couple more crowns and an Antennae to top it off would look great; if only people would agree with me though.

I dunno DowntownCharlieBrown, having no logos on it makes it look....plain.:yuck:

DowntownCharlieBrown May 9, 2008 6:59 PM

^You young kids that were brought up on MTV and Video games have had your retinas over stimulated. So your generation is looking for "flashy, bright, constant movement, more, more, more" and may confuse "plain" with "pure".... Gawd, I'm talking like an old man.:ancient:

JDRCRASH May 9, 2008 7:45 PM

^
Exactly how old are you?

DowntownCharlieBrown May 9, 2008 8:08 PM

^Old enough to kick you butt for asking. LOL
(IOW, I'm not saying.)

But it was before SSP, the Internet, and well before the Library Tower was even a thought in someones mind.

BrandonJXN May 9, 2008 8:55 PM

There is more X's than an episode of Divorce Court.

Tanster May 9, 2008 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DowntownCharlieBrown (Post 3541419)
^You young kids that were brought up on MTV and Video games have had your retinas over stimulated. So your generation is looking for "flashy, bright, constant movement, more, more, more" and may confuse "plain" with "pure".... Gawd, I'm talking like an old man.:ancient:

Heck yes Entertainments is getting to intense we need more more more

plinko May 9, 2008 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThreeHundred (Post 3541682)
There is more X's than an episode of Divorce Court.

pics not showing up? Hmmm...it's Photobucket and I pay for it so they should be there...anybody else having problems?

JDR, architecture is rarely developed to account for logos and other such things. Sometimes...but rarely. In the case of this building...I'm sure Henry Cobb loathes the USBank logo up there even more than most of us do!

At least the gold First Interstate sign (one of my favorite corporate icons of all time) was fairly subtle and was proportionally OK. That USBank garbage is just that...

BrandonJXN May 10, 2008 12:03 AM

^ Now I can see them thanks. The US Bank is the ESB of the west. It is a iconic skyscraper in the sense that it is one of LA's trademarks. It is the focal point of many tv shows, music videos, commericals, and yadda yadda.

I love it. It has such a strong, almost humanoid shape. And JDR..antenne and other crowns is a shitty idea. Remove the logo. Addition by subtraction.

Dac150 May 10, 2008 12:16 AM

This has always been my favorite building outside of Manhattan. It's a very iconic tower that has been in pop culture countless times. I love the Downtown LA skyline in general. It's like a painting.

Alliance May 10, 2008 2:21 AM

I've never seen anything to like about this building.

Easy May 10, 2008 3:12 AM

Speaking of the logo, I had read that this was the tallest building in the world with a logo on top. Is that true?

Patrick May 10, 2008 6:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alliance (Post 3542335)
I've never seen anything to like about this building.

Really? Ah this is like my favorite Skyscraper of all time! Imma big fan of postmodernism. :yes:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy (Post 3542424)
Speaking of the logo, I had read that this was the tallest building in the world with a logo on top. Is that true?

Yes it is, unless you count the sign attached between the CITIC Plaza's Spires in China.

Some shots of the US Bank Tower (Ah yes, I refer to it as the US Bank Tower, dont hurt me ;) ) I took on my horribly short trip back home to the Southland, back in post-christmas 2007, pre-new year 2008.

http://i30.tinypic.com/2moshh0.jpg

http://i31.tinypic.com/2w7ltzc.jpg

http://i26.tinypic.com/11ipmhl.jpg

And here are some I took in 2003 (before the US Bank logos!)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...5/Usbnktwr.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ibraryhope.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Librarytwr.jpg

Chi649 May 10, 2008 4:45 PM

love this building. The facade really has a lot of texture and the crown is beautiful. This is kind of like the cousin of 311 South Wacker Dr. in Chicago.

ItsConanOBrien May 10, 2008 8:04 PM

I've always been a big fan of this one. Something about it just works so well.

Stratosphere May 10, 2008 8:42 PM

The most beautiful in Southern California and one of my most favorite skyscrapers in the world.

canucklehead2 May 10, 2008 10:58 PM

Does anyone know what the top floors are being used for? I noticed the uppermost floor is a complete circle of what looks to be floor to ceiling glass, and the floor just below it has over sized windows as well...

Austin55 May 11, 2008 4:15 AM

I love the buildings wavy edges,blue and tan facade,the crown,But I never really cared for the final setbacks uptop,they seem out of place to me,but then they look really good,I dunno,But I do love it.

2-TOWERS May 11, 2008 4:08 PM

as a new yorker now living out here, in fact i watch this building going up as i visited my mom in 1985, then did the move in 1992, anyway a great building tall for a sesmic zone. it does look like a condo . in fact this looks like it could be a trump condo on 59th and 3rd ave in new york city. it would look good with a 150 ft spire.:)

plinko May 11, 2008 5:06 PM

^A spire would ruin this building. Besides, LA City requires helipads on top of their towers....no spires allowed! (unless they did something really interesting like the Malaysia Telekom Tower in KL).

DJM19 May 11, 2008 5:32 PM

The way around the helipad requirement is some special elevator...like a reinforced elevator or something. Needless to say that would probably a large and difficult task on an existing building of this size

JDRCRASH May 12, 2008 5:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plinko (Post 3544982)
^A spire would ruin this building. Besides, LA City requires helipads on top of their towers....no spires allowed! (unless they did something really interesting like the Malaysia Telekom Tower in KL).

Not anymore. As DJM19 said, apparantly a few years back there was change to that ordinance to where a certain elevator is required, hence the City House and Olympic Towers proposal.

RuFFy May 13, 2008 12:56 PM

59th & Lex (all the way to 3rd) is the Bloomberg Building with a Spire of sorts (Look at my icon of the Bloomberg minus the spire looking thing that must have been added later).

In any case, the US Bank Building (Library Tower for those that insist) has always captured me as a perfect imperfection. A circle and a square. A contradiction. I've always thought that this is a perfect symbol for California and the west; a region long known for it's innovation and outside the box thinking. Like Los Angeles the US Bank stands tall, not the biggest but firm and confident in it's position. The US Bank Building is the queen and it's no mistake it is and belongs in Los Angeles. I really admire this building and it's ability to connect with LA well. Maybe I'm just really proud of it and totally insane too, but if you know LA's history you might be able to understand what I am saying. I think LA's history was incorporated into the design. If LA were a building, the US Bank Building (minus the US Bank logo) would be LA. And IMO, it is.

Avalanche May 13, 2008 2:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RuFFy (Post 3549028)
59th & Lex (all the way to 3rd) is the Bloomberg Building with a Spire of sorts (Look at my icon of the Bloomberg minus the spire looking thing that must have been added later).

In any case, the US Bank Building (Library Tower for those that insist) has always captured me as a perfect imperfection. A circle and a square. A contradiction. I've always thought that this is a perfect symbol for California and the west; a region long known for it's innovation and outside the box thinking. Like Los Angeles the US Bank stands tall, not the biggest but firm and confident in it's position. The US Bank Building is the queen and it's no mistake it is and belongs in Los Angeles. I really admire this building and it's ability to connect with LA well. Maybe I'm just really proud of it and totally insane too, but if you know LA's history you might be able to understand what I am saying. I think LA's history was incorporated into the design. If LA were a building, the US Bank Building (minus the US Bank logo) would be LA. And IMO, it is.


:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

You almost brought tears to my eyes!!

Echo Park May 13, 2008 4:11 PM

This building has had to grow on me because before I got into the development spectator thing, I was just a casual observer of downtown and the building never impressed me. It looked like any building of that era (80s-90s), it just happened to be taller than anything else in LA. I still think it isn't remarkable but the crown is its saving grace. Its a beautiful crown thats almost regal in apperance (in a modern way). The way its lit up at night makes it a beacon--a center of focus for a city that is criticised for having no center. its not the greatest building but since its "ours", i'm always going to have an affection for it.

Jibba May 19, 2008 5:45 AM

The setbacks give it some nice "shoulders", and the massing is pretty right on (particularly when viewed from afar), but the detailing of the facade, especially the colors and the window shapes, just kills a lof of it for me. Overall pretty decent, though, and it is nice and iconic for LA.

Nowhereman1280 May 19, 2008 6:59 PM

I have to agree with Alliance on this one? What is so great about this tower, it has very little detailing, is a bland and boring color, has a forgettable form/outline, why do so many of you like it? I would probably take 50% of the buildings of any height in Chicago and New York to this boring thing...

I'm not saying that its ugly, just that its forgettable, its boring, I just see it as decent. I'm gonna get flamed for saying this, but in any other major skyline (NY,Chi,HK,Singapore) this building would be nice filler for the larger supertalls. In fact, speaking of HK, this thing looks like a lot of the bland residential filler they have there...

jodelli May 19, 2008 8:13 PM

Just thought I'd line up the diagrams:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3263/...f05108cb_o.jpg

dvdmsy May 20, 2008 6:25 AM

Rihga Royal hotel in New York pays some serious homage to the Library Tower, complete with crown.

JDRCRASH May 20, 2008 3:09 PM

Jodelli, that is exactly why I want the height increased. But if it was, then I could see why having a sign on the first crown wouldn't look great.

Dac150 May 20, 2008 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dvdmsy (Post 3563037)
Rihga Royal hotel in New York pays some serious homage to the Library Tower, complete with crown.

Good comparison.:yes: I never thought of that.

JDRCRASH May 20, 2008 5:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2-TOWERS (Post 3544899)
as a new yorker now living out here, in fact i watch this building going up as i visited my mom in 1985, then did the move in 1992, anyway a great building tall for a sesmic zone. it does look like a condo . in fact this looks like it could be a trump condo on 59th and 3rd ave in new york city. it would look good with a 150 ft spire.:)


Thank you!!!
:worship:

M II A II R II K Jun 1, 2008 7:45 PM

I think it could have been a bit better if they threw in a few more add ons like a crown or something, or perhaps more colour. I might get to check it out soon in person so I'd getter a better look at it then.

Amanita Jun 2, 2008 6:23 AM

What a beautiful skyscraper! Somebody take that godawful logo off of her though! She's so much prettier without it.

Wrightguy0 Jun 2, 2008 8:09 PM

I do love this tower, It was designed to represent a lighthouse with the Gas Company Tower representing a ship being guided by it, together they make an impressive postmodern sculpture

DowntownCharlieBrown Jun 2, 2008 10:41 PM

^I have never heard that or would have thought it true until I saw this:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3121/...236412d9_o.jpg

lol: altered picture from Patrick

texcolo Jun 3, 2008 1:28 AM

I like it. LA's skyline has improved ten fold from the seventies.

StethJeff Jun 14, 2008 7:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrightguy0 (Post 3588965)
I do love this tower, It was designed to represent a lighthouse with the Gas Company Tower representing a ship being guided by it, together they make an impressive postmodern sculpture

wow, i thought i knew everything about that building until reading this ^^^

jcchii Jun 15, 2008 4:06 AM

logo ridiculous. great building

LosAngelesBeauty Jul 1, 2008 8:49 AM

Here are a few pics of her I took over the years.


http://img34.picoodle.com/img/img34/...3m_3e3ad55.jpg



http://img26.picoodle.com/img/img26/...5m_019df93.jpg



http://img34.picoodle.com/img/img34/...7m_511e137.jpg

Fabb Jul 1, 2008 9:28 AM

This is one of the last super-tall buildings with windows that can actually be identified clearly.
The last traditional skyscraper ?

Buckeye Native 001 Jul 1, 2008 5:16 PM

By far my favorite skyscraper in Los Angeles. You can't fully appreciate it until you've seen it up close and in person (I'm not usually a fan of po-mo, but I love the intricacies, the forced cohesion of circles and squares, and the crown).

That said, US Bank should be ashamed of itself for vandalizing the crown.

Inkdaub Jul 6, 2008 9:02 AM

Great building, my favorite skyscraper in California.

Tanster Jul 6, 2008 3:35 PM

US Bank is such a great building. The set backs at the top of the building make it look different.

SNT1 Jul 7, 2008 1:49 AM

Underrated supertall. Can't imagine L.A without it.

charmedone Jul 26, 2008 4:25 AM

one of the best builings on the west cost btw it was compealted in 1990 not 1988 it was still U/C back then

Matt Jul 26, 2008 5:56 AM

My favorite building in LA. It is a little-known fact that the Library Tower was inspired by a fictional building in the movie "Bladerunner", a film which pre-dated the design and construction of the Library Tower. If you watch the movie closely, you will indeed see her crown several years before she was built...


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