U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles

Photo of U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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U.S. Bank Tower
Formerly:Library Tower
Formerly:First Interstate World Center
Formerly:Library Tower

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Every city has a landmark that is the pinnacle of its architectural greatness and exemplifies its stature on a world scale. For Los Angeles, this is it. At 1,017 feet it is the tallest building between Chicago and Hong Kong, beating out the Chase Tower in Houston by just 15 feet, though it is two floors shorter. It can be described as a series of overlapping spiraling cubes. The result is a building that is both circular and square. Its shape is aesthetically pleasing to the public, and provides numerous high-priced corner offices that are so important to make such a massive undertaking financially successful.

At its peak is a structure sometimes called a crown or "lighthouse" for lack of a better term. It was originally called the "Library Tower" because of its proximity to the city's beloved Central Library and because it and the Gas Company Building had to purchase the library's air rights in order to exceed the height limit imposed on the area. For a while it was called "First Interstate World Center" after being bought by First Interstate bank. That bank has since merged with Wells Fargo and the "Library Tower" moniker was restored for a number of years before the building changed hands again in 2005 and was renamed "U.S. Bank Tower."

Quick Facts
  • Floor space: 1,430,000 square feet
  • When U.S. Bank moved in to this buidling in 2003 on a 12-year lease, it took the space vacated by the Andersen accounting firm, even buying the old company's furniture.
Tourist Tips
  • Watch out for the building's security guards. They are poorly trained and believe their miniscule amount of power gives them the authority to restrict tourists from taking photographs of the building and of other buildings in the vicinity. They falsely claimed to our employees that U.S. Bank owns the public sidewalk and the entirety of West Fifth Street and can decide who can take photographs. They are lying. Neither U.S. Bank, nor the owners, nor the managers of this building have any legal authority to restrict photography by people who are standing outside the building property line.
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Your Thoughts

There are 17 comments.

  Oh my gosh, it's so true about the security guards! They are poorly trained and think they own the entire sidewalk! Hhhmph. Well, I take pictures anyway. I live 15 min. away from here, by the way. :)

Jane Calderon - Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 @ 7:01pm  

  i absoluteley love this building and would love to see it everyday i dont think the californians now how lucky they are

mercedes huyton - Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 @ 12:53pm  

  The Library Tower and the Los Angeles City Hall building have always been my favorites to see when in Los Angeles.

Denny - Saturday, October 25th, 2008 @ 7:31pm  

  I like how it compliments the L.A. Skyline, and wish to see it someday. It's design looks very similar to 311 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago.

Brent Kampert - Friday, October 24th, 2008 @ 2:49pm  

  Next to city hall, this building is LA written all over it & makes dntown recognizable from any view. On a clear day you can see 3 or 4 tall districts out here

Kyoshi B - Sunday, January 6th, 2008 @ 9:13pm  

  im from ireland and i cant over this structure,i love it.i hoping to go to l.a to see it.it just reminds me of all the legends such as ice cube and eazy e,and the films its brillant should of made a small bit taller though

barry greene - Monday, May 28th, 2007 @ 5:05pm  

  Before the Library Tower, the LA skyline was jagged, boring, and ugly. But this beautiful singularly crowned LA with all the beauty that this awesome city deserves. The home of Hollywood always deserved better, and the building of this beautiful piece of architectural magic gave Los Angeles a great skyline. My Dad even worked on this great project.

Randy - Wednesday, March 15th, 2006 @ 1:14am  

  Library tower favors from not just good design but also good location. It sits well as the tallest building in Los Angeles and also at the middle of it which always leads your eye towards it. The same could be said about the empire state building. The Library tower also has great details. From its minimalist yet unmistakable crown to the bunker hill steps that are a treat for the eye when at the bottom. Great building.

Victor Obeck - Monday, October 10th, 2005 @ 11:20pm  

  this tower is the epitome of buildings in Los Angeles, its crown is like a beacon that u can see for all areas of the city. I think it would be blasphemy to build anything taller than it in the future. It should always keep its domininace and position as tallest building. To imagine the skyline without it would look pretty banal and without distinction. For Godsake somebody remove that ugly US Bank logo thats the only thing that kills it. Also i think they should open up a observation deck/restaurant in one of the highest floors that would become an instant landmark.

raymond - Monday, October 10th, 2005 @ 11:14pm  

  The building itself is beautiful and I would have given this 5 stars had the designers and owner took more advantage of the circular portions for Obrsevation deck and a Rooftop lounge/resturant

Jerard - Monday, October 10th, 2005 @ 10:52pm  

  Library Tower is quite a unique structure that adds distinction to the Los Angeles skyline. I think the glory of its crown should remain without any banners spoiling its beauty and I hope that US bank will some day remove its banner and let the building stand as a icon to Los Angeles and not just a be a structure used to advertise banks.

Kenneth Coleman - Saturday, October 8th, 2005 @ 11:42am  

  I've worked in this building for about 4 months now, and I can honestly say, working there is a privilege. I work on the 71st floor, so I get great views, and theres alot of space on each floor, so there isn't any crowding. A great buildiing that, like the Twin Towers of New York, or the Sears Tower, is the crown of the skyline.

Adrian Keenan - Monday, June 13th, 2005 @ 3:47pm  

  One of the main reasons I like this building is because it symbolizes the city of Los Angeles. I' ve been living in Los Angeles since 1999 and I've never seen anything beautiful than that structure.

Laurence Robertson - Monday, May 2nd, 2005 @ 1:01pm  

  Among big skyscrapers, this is the only one in LA that deserves five stars. She could easily hold her own in Chicago or New York. The crown is a nice way to top off an interesting blend of circular and rectangular sections. And the whitish color makes her stand out and look alive.

Steven Imbagliazzo - Tuesday, April 19th, 2005 @ 1:11am  

  LA would not be LA if the Library Tower was not there! People around the world recognizes the Tower and they know they are seeing Los Angeles. The beauty of the skyscrapper can be seen more than 20 miles! I love this masterpiece. And I live in New York.

Andy R. Gomez - Monday, March 21st, 2005 @ 11:26am