West Coast Cities Redefining Height With Batch of New Skyscrapers

The title of tallest building west of the Mississippi, property of the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles since 1989, will soon go to another building. What does that say about the post-recession of West Coast cities?

Read Time: 2 minutes

June 22, 2016, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Los Angeles

IM_photo / Shutterstock

"The West Coast’s largest cities are reaching for the record books as a succession of towers vying for the mantle of the “tallest west of the Mississippi” go up across the region," according to an article by Antonio Pacheco.

The 1,018-foot-tall U.S. Bank Tower, built in 1989 and currently anchoring the skyline of Los Angeles, currently holds the title of tallest building west of the Mississippi. "However, developers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle are seeking to depose the U.S. Bank Tower," according to Pacheco, "all three cities currently have high-rises in the works set to surpass the record."

The three buildings in question, each detailed from a design perspective and supplemented with flashy renderings of the finished product:

  • In Seattle, a 1,111-foot-tall proposal for the 4/C Tower. That project already ran afoul of the Federal Aviation Administration, so the final height of this building is not yet considered final.
  • In San Francisco, the 1,070-foot-tall Salesforce Tower "is slowly rising out of San Francisco’s Transbay Center," writes Pacheco. Planetizen correspondent Irvin Dawid detailed the Salesforce Tower in April 2014.
  • The U.S. Bank Tower's nearest neighbor among this collection, the under-construction Wilshire Grand Tower, will reach 1,099 feet tall at the top of its spire.

Pacheco writes of each of these projects in the context of each of these cities testing the waters of the post-recession era of city building—asking of each city what it envisions for tall, mixed-use, and transit-oriented development.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in The Architect's Newspaper

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