by Jodi Summers
With its spire, the Wilshire Grand skyscraper soars to 1,100 feet – becoming the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Construction crews recently hoisted the final piece of a steel spire atop the Wilshire Grand, crowning the 73-story skyscraper.
The spire is the final piece of tower’s distinct sail-shaped roofline, which will include an observation deck and an open-air pool. 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.
Workers lifted the spire to the top of the skyscraper atop the building’s roof with a crane.
The steel spire alone stands 294 feet and 9 inches, crowning the 1,100 foot tall Wilshire Grand, which was constructed at a cost of $1-billion. The decorative piece was installed in eight segments. The top piece is an LED beacon that can be programmed to light up in varying colors…a new millennium version of the Empire State Building.
With the addition of the steel spire, the building is now 85% complete and on track to be complete in early 2017. Korean Air broke ground on the project in February 2014. The ground breaking achieved a record-breaking concrete pour.
The building will transform the Downtown Los Angeles skyline, bringing more luxury housing, hotel, retail and office space to the market. Additionally, the Wilshire Grand is fueling the local economy. According to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the project will bring 122,000 jobs to the market.**