U.S. Bank Tower (Library Tower) Facts and Information

U.S. Bank Tower is a supertall skyscraper in Los Angeles, in the United States, it is the tallest building in Los Angeles by roof height. Below are the facts about the US Bank Tower.

US Bank Tower at dusk
US Bank Tower at dusk


US Bank Tower
US Bank Tower with Central library

U.S. Bank Tower, the tower was called First Interstate Bank World Center before 2004, when US Bank Corp rent a large portion of floors in the tower and bought the name rights, changed the name to U.S. Bank Tower, and installed the company's logo on the tower's crown at the peak after the original logo of First Interstate was removed. However the local people prefer its common name Library Tower, which comes out of its location being across the street from Central Library, and it was built as part of the Central Library redevelopment.


U.S. Bank Tower had been a pure office building with no hotels or observation deck since its opening until in June 2016, when a new multi-level observatory opens to public. The plan of this new addition was first proposed by the tower's new owner OUE group in 2014, who acquired the building in 2013, by this way they can earn an extra of money since the rent rate of the tower is quite low, which problem was the reason for its former owner decided to sell it.
The tower also serves as an icon of the city, it can displays some new trends by the crown lighting at the peak of the building when nights come. The crown is lit white in the usual times, and will be lit in a variety of colors in some special days like some festivals or events, this feature is similar to Empire State Building.

Los Angeles US Bank Tower
US Bank Tower

The tower's address is 633 West Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles, where filled with tall buildings, the majority of high rise buildings in the city are located at there. There are around 10 skyscrapers exceeding 200 meters situated around U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest completed one among them was once the Aon Center, which stands 260 meters tall, in June 2017 a supertall skyscraper named Wilshire Grand Tower completed with an architectural height that taller than both U.S. Bank Tower and Aon Center, becoming the new tallest building in Los Angeles.




















310 meters (1018 feet), 73 floors

U.S. Bank Tower is a flat-roof building, unlike the Empire State Building, the U.S. Bank Tower has no spires, antennas or parapet added for higher height, the peak of the tower is a helipad, it's a solid and strong 310 m tower, it had been the world's tallest building in terms of buildings with helipads and buildings situated on seismic zone before the completion of Taipei 101 Tower.

US Bank Tower
A close up view of US Bank Tower from air.

Before 2017, U.S. Bank Tower had been the tallest building west of the Mississippi in America, or say, it was the tallest building out of New York City and Chicago in America. As of 2018, the tower ranks 15th in the United States in height among skyscrapers, the buildings ahead of it in roof height are all from New York City and Chicago, and it ranks about 100th in the world. Many years ago the tower can be ranked into the top tallest 20 buildings in the world, but after these years' construction boom taking places worldwide, lots of cities has started constructing the supertall skyscrapers no matter what the size the city is, the number of rank for U.S. Bank Tower will continues to increase.

Aerial view of US Bank Tower
Aerial view of US Bank Tower

However in Los Angeles the tower will keeps holding the title of Los Angeles's tallest building by roof height for a long time, it will keep being regarded as the landmark and the most recognizable skyscraper of this renowned international city.



Design and construction:
In 1986, two serious fires occurred at Central Library in Los Angeles, after that the city proposed a plan for redevelopment of the disaster-affected area, U.S. Bank Tower was a project within that redevelopment plan.
U.S. Bank Tower was designed by Henry N. Cobb from Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, a firm led by starchitect IM Pei.

Like many other skyscrapers such as Willis Tower in Chicago and Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, the design of U.S. Bank Tower is all based on the footprint's shape as shown below:

Los Angeles US Bank Tower footprint
The footprint shape of U.S. Bank Tower

Now given the shape of the bottom of the building, let's see how the whole tower takes its shape, note the color of each element:

Constituent parts of US Bank Tower
The constituent parts of U.S. Bank Tower

After each elements in the first picture pulled up to the certain heights the tower finally takes its shape.

From Another angle:

Los Angeles US Bank Tower elements
The constituent parts of U.S. Bank Tower (2)

A skyscraper named United Overseas Bank Plaza in Singapore looks very similar to U.S. Bank Tower, though it based on a totally different shape, it still always be confused with U.S. Bank Tower because of some of its features like height (only 30 meters shorter), proportion, crown, color, window shape, and even the name. United Overseas Bank Plaza was designed by the starchitect Kenzō Tange, in fact its shape is inspired by Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, which is another building designed by Kenzō Tange.

Singapore United Overseas Bank Plaza
United Overseas Bank Plaza at night, a building shares a similar looking with US Bank Tower.

The building was designed to be able to withstand a Ritcher 8.3 scale earthquake, it was once the tallest building located in earthquake zone before the completion of Taipei 101.

The construction of the tower started In 1987, followed by a completion date in 1989, the construction of the tower cost 350 million dollars by that time, approximately 670 million dollars in 2016.

U.S. Bank Tower was formerly owned by MPG Trust Inc, like many other skyscrapers in America, the ownership of U.S. Bank Tower was transferred several times, in 2013, a Singapore based cooperation named Ocean Union Enterprise acquired the building becoming the new owner of the tower.

Tourism and Sightseeing:
A new two-layer observation deck named Sky Space has been opened in June 2016, before that the tower had been strictly served as a pure office building, only for tenants and not opened to tourists, unlike the scene shown in the film Independence Day, in which a flock of people get to the roof of tower.

US Bank Tower observation deck
Observation deck on US Bank Tower

Now things changed, in July 2014, the new owner of the tower made a decision to transform the office space in 69th floor to 71st floor to observation decks and restaurant.

The tower's 69th floor and 70th floor have been renovated into a multi-layer observation deck, including outdoor space on 69th floor. And 71st floor serves as a 360 degree panoramic restaurant.
Unlike what reported by many renowned media sites, the observation deck is not 1000 ft( 305 m) high but is in fact at 920 ft (280 m) off the ground, still pretty enough for enjoying the city views.

US Bank Tower observation deck
Location of observation deck on US Bank Tower

The price of a visit is 25 dollars,it's quite expensive compared with other skyscraper based observation decks in America, e.g. Sears Tower and John Hancock Tower, they only charge less than 20 dollars and are all higher than U.S. Bank Tower's, and the cityscape viewed from these observatories are not less attractive than Downtown Los Angeles.
The main reason for the high price is that it contains outdoor spaces where tourists can feel the air flow at such a height, that can not be found on Sears Tower or John Hancock Tower, besides, as an international city and the 2nd largest city Los Angeles enjoys a high reputation all over the world. Additionally there's no other observation decks with such a height in the city.

In March 3rd 2016, Los Angeles Times reported that a glass slide will be added on the facade of the tower for people who want to be thrilled, but need another 8 dollars on the basis of observatory ticket.
The slide officially opened in June.

US Bank Tower Glass Slide
Glass slide on US Bank Tower

Since currently there's no buildings planned to be built taller than U.S. Bank Tower by roof height, this observation deck will stay as the highest observatory in Los Angeles for a fairly long time, another supertall tower in downtown, the Wilshire Grand Hotel also will get its own observation deck, but not as high as that of the U.S. Bank Tower.

Popular Culture:
U.S. Bank Tower is one of the most notable landmarks of Los Angeles, the tower naturally has been featured in dozens of movies, TV series, video games.

Independence Day (film): An alien ship hovers over the U.S. Bank Tower, which attracts lots of people to get to the rooftop of the tower to show welcome, however soon afterwards the ship bombs the whole building out.

Independence day US Bank Tower
Giant alien ship hovers above US Bank Tower

Dragon War (film): A mega snake chases a man and a woman to U.S. Bank Tower, before the snake arrived at the bottom of the tower the two people have arrived at the rooftop, due to the cylinder shape of the tower, the snake was able to climb up by wrapping around the tower and did that, soon afterwards it found the woman who it was chasing for on the roof top, at this time several choppers came and started attacking the snake, many choppers were destroyed by the snake, the snake fell down to the ground being badly wounded after a few minutes' fighting.

US Bank Tower and snake
Mega Snake tangled around US Bank Tower in the film.

Costantine (film):

When John Costantine is in the hell, there's a scene featuring the U.S. Bank Tower destroyed in ruins.

Terminator 2018 (film):
The story takes place in Los Angeles, where is a place destroyed and reigned by machines, the base of destroyed U.S. Bank Tower can be found in a scene when the role acted by Sam Worthington wandering in the ruins of the city after he revived from death.

2012 (film):
An unprecedented earthquake attacked Los Angeles, countless streets and buildings are corrupted, U.S. Bank Tower is among them, but it is only shown a few seconds in the scene.

US Bank Tower 2012
US Bank Tower falling down seen in the film 2012

The island (film):
A couple of clones escaped from the horrific cloning factory and came to a city, which is future's Los Angeles, U.S. Bank Tower can be easily picked out among skyscrapers, many of which stand taller than U.S. Bank Tower.

The day after tomorrow (film):

In the film Los Angeles is the first city that attacked by hurricane before New York City, U.S. Bank Tower naturally appears in the scene, unlike the film 2012, the tower and Empire State Building in New York City are all still standing after the striking of the hurricane.

HourRush 2 (film):

In U.S. Bank Tower, Inspector Lee received a suspected bomb package, he ran to the rooftop with his partner to dispose the package, only to find it was a false alarm.

HourRush 3 (film):
The first part of the film takes place in Downtown Los Angeles, U.S. Bank Tower is shown in many scenes from different angles.

Dark Knight Rise (film): In a night on a building's roof, Batman invites Cat woman to get on his aircraft, then fly towards to a group of high-rise buildings in the distance, one of which is U.S. Bank Tower, in fact those high-rises are cut from Downtown Los Angeles's skyline, though the cityscape of Gotham in the film is mainly based on New York City, they mixes the LA skyline into the scene because of the glorious night view of Downtown LA.

Skyscraper (film, not the new 2018 film):
U.S. Bank Tower is in the background of movie poster, and it's where the most exuberant plots occurs.

Supergirl (TV series):

The tower has appeared in almost every episode and shot from many different angles in the air, this is different from other TV series that show some iconic place in the same angles again and again in every episode. But there's one angle shows in every episode, that is a scene featuring the office building which served as supergirl's workplace looked up from Street, U.S. Bank Tower is behind this building, but in order to make the office building looking more majestic, they cut the upper portion of U.S. Bank Tower, however U.S. Bank Tower appears intact from other angles.

San Andreas (film): U.S. Bank Tower corrupts in a 9.1 earthquake. There's a scene featuring protagonist Ray Gaines flies his helicopter over the US Bank Tower that is falling down.

GTA:San Andreas (video game): One of the cities in the game named Los Santos is a moderated version of Los Angeles in 1990s, along with San Francisco and Las Vegas being the other two cities in San Andreas area, by that time U.S. Bank Tower had been built so it appears in the game and serves as the tallest building in the game. The building has no name in the game, and is 3 floors taller than that of in reality.

GTA V (video game):

US Bank Tower in Grand Theft Auto
US Bank Tower seen in Grand Theft Auto V as Maze Tower.

After New York City was chosen as the city of GTA IV, GTA V's city turned back to Los Angeles, but a modern one. This time the U.S. Bank Tower in the game is made more exquisite and accurate. The floor count is almost same as in the real one and the tower is named as Maze Bank Tower, of which the logo is installed on the crown of the tower, imitating the tower in real-life.

Information of Other Skyscrapers Around the World

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