Yesterday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took a trip up to the 69th floor of the under-construction Wilshire Grand in Downtown. The structure, which, thanks to its spire, will be the tallest building in the West when it’s finished, topped off its 73 stories last month and is heading towards its expected completion date in March 2017.
Get up early any morning and stand where Wilshire crosses the 110 Freeway, and you’ll see a parade of men and women carrying lunch boxes, wearing Carhart and Dickies, steel-toed Red Wings and hard hats, safety glasses and gloves, all them converging on the Wilshire Grand, which is rising inexorably over downtown Los Angeles.
Mayor Eric Garcetti stood before 900 workers at the downtown Wilshire Grand construction site early Monday morning and said “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” “This town is not only rising physically,” Garcetti said, “but we’re rising spiritually.”
The West Coast finally has its own supertall. The under-construction Wilshire Grand Center in Downtown Los Angeles will top off at 1,100 feet. That cements its place as the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
We’ve watched the 73-story Wilshire Grand grow via time-lapse and we saw last month as the future tallest tower in the West topped out, but views from inside the building have been few and far between.
Rick Smegelski pulled back the hoist lever with his right hand, calculating how fast his load was rising.
The construction of the Wilshire Grand in DTLA’s financial district has been something of an aerial dance, with the pouring of the concrete core, the ironwork, and the application of glass cladding all happening simultaneously as the building rises.