Lonely Planet Writer

Reach for the skies - Los Angeles skyscraper becomes tallest tower in western US

A new skyscraper has claimed the title of tallest building in the US west of the Mississippi after it topped out at the weekend.

On top of Los Angeles #wilshiregrand #dtla #construction

A photo posted by Wilshire Grand Center (@wilshiregrand) on Aug 26, 2016 at 11:55am PDT

Los Angeles isn’t generally known for its skyscrapers, leaving that sort of thing to New York and Chicago, but Downtown LA is an exception and it’s here that you’ll find the 1099-ft tall Wilshire Grand. It’s estimated that the tower will have cost $1 billion by the time it’s finished and will come complete with a 900-room hotel, businesses, observation decks and shops.

Hello summer. #wilshiregrand #construction #dtla

A photo posted by Wilshire Grand Center (@wilshiregrand) on Jun 23, 2016 at 7:09pm PDT

The previous occupant of the site was a 1950s-built hotel, the Statler, which over the years saw famous guests including JFK and Pope John Paul II, and several name changes. It was demolished in 2012 to make way for the new development, which finally reached its full height last weekend when the pointy spire was added. Along with the spire, the 73-storey skyscraper is also notable for being the only one in the city that doesn’t have a flat roof.

The previous holder of tallest building west of the Mississippi was the nearby and recently refurbished U.S. Bank Tower. It’s soars above the Downtown skyline to a lofty 1018 feet – impressive but still around 90 feet shorter than the new kid on the block.