New tallest tower west of the Mississippi built to stringent seismic standards

L.A.’s new 1,100-foot skyscraper dominates city’s skyline.

July 20, 2017 |

Photo: FredChang931124, Wikimedia Commons

The soon-to-open Wilshire Grand, at 1,100 feet, is now the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

The 73-floor structure was built to stringent seismic standards, as it rests near the San Andreas Fault. The building has bracing in three places to ensure it won’t collapse, and the foundations had to be fortified beyond the typical skyscraper.

Steel supports can help to absorb seismic energy. The tower reportedly can sway 17 inches without buckling. The structure includes a fireman’s elevator in the concrete core that’s surrounded by 2 to 4 feet of concrete.

The $1.1 billion Wilshire Grand dominates the skyline and includes Spire 73, touted as “tallest open-air bar” in the Western Hemisphere.

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