Things to do in Los Angeles

Tall Buildings in Los Angeles

Skyscrapers jet above the Los Angeles skyline with grace — but which of these architectural marvels are the tallest?

A magnificent skyline just wouldn't be the same without mammoth buildings piercing the sky. LA is filled with intricately designed and expertly constructed high-rises, showcasing the diverse Los Angeles architecture. But not all of them reach the same fame. These are the tallest buildings in Los Angeles's collection.

15 Tallest Buildings in Los Angeles

Looking for things to do in Los Angeles? Explore the dizzying heights of the tallest buildings in the City of Angels.

1. Wilshire Grand Center

Behold the Wilshire Grand Center, a modern giant that stands as a testament to the continuous evolution of LA buildings. Completed in 2017, this 73-story skyscraper reaches 1,100 feet into the sky, making it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

Designed by the architecture firm AC Martin, the Wilshire Grand Center boasts a contemporary glass facade and a distinctive, angular crown that lights up the Los Angeles skyline.

Ready to live the high life? The 360-degree views from the 73rd-level Skydeck will take your breath away. Enjoy them while sipping a hand-crafted signature cocktail in the Western Hemisphere’s highest open-air bar, Spire 73. The bar’s vast whiskey selection is sure to calm any vertigo and give you a head for heights worthy of any of our performers.

2. US Bank Tower

The US Bank Tower, Los Angeles, has been an iconic part of the city’s skyline since 1989. It acts as an architectural marvel and the site of gastronomic delights. At the tower’s summit sits 71Above, a restaurant that takes the phrase “elevated dining” literally.

With panoramic views of the city, 71Above serves up fine dining that's a feast for the eyes. Pair this culinary adventure with the dramatic backdrop of the Los Angeles skyline, and you’ve got a show-stopping dinner date. At almost 1,000 feet above ground level, every bite serves up a taste of the extraordinary.

Photographer: Greyson Joralemon

3. AON Center

The AON Center stands tall and proud at 858 feet, an icon of Modernist architecture. Timeless and effortlessly chic, it’s like the skyscraper version of a classic Hollywood film.

Completed in 1973, the AON Center has been enchanting Los Angeles for half a century, thanks to the architectural skills of Charles Luckman Associates. However, its reign as the tallest building in LA was almost cut short in 1988 when a fire broke out on the twelfth floor. Thankfully, firefighters managed to get the blaze under control.

4. Two California Plaza

Known affectionately as 2Cal, Two California Plaza is a Modernist masterpiece designed by Arthur Erickson. With its slightly shorter buddy, One California Plaza, acting as sidekick, this gleaming skyscraper dominates the landscape of downtown LA.

The skyscrapers and the Plaza area between them are more than just a pair of office buildings; the Plaza is a cultural hub, housing the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) and the Colburn School of Performing Arts.

Did you know that California Plaza has been included in the set of many television shows and films? Heat, Lucifer, and 2012 all feature scenes filmed there. Even Fight Club features footage from this popular LA meeting place.

Photographer: Johnathan Kaufman

5. Gas Company Tower

Looking for examples of Contemporary architecture in downtown LA? The Gas Company Tower, which was completed in 1991, is one of the best. Standing at 749 feet, this glass-clad skyscraper was designed by Richard Keating of the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, better known as SOM.

This is the firm behind other famous buildings, including the Sears Tower in Chicago. The building has a striking blue glass top featuring a blue gas flame — the trademark of the tower’s primary tenant, Southern California Gas Company.

Take a look inside the lobby, where a glass wall gives great views of an enormous mural by Frank Stella, titled “Dusk.” There’s also a charming water feature consisting of hundreds of small jets that dance and play like our acrobats during a performance.

Photographer: Olenka Kotyk

6. Bank of America Plaza

Bank of America Plaza is 55 stories tall, which might not seem that much compared to some of the other towers on this list. However, the building’s design with its vertical granite piers striping the surface gives the impression of a towering leviathan.

Down on the ground, there’s an attractive lobby that looks out onto fountains and gardens. Look out for “Four Arches,” a metal sculpture by famous artist Alexander Calder. You’ll easily spot this piece of public art due to its distinctive orange color. It makes the ideal selfie spot.

The Bank of America tower stands out due to the gentle, park-like landscaping that it sits within. The building stands alone, proud and tall, at a distinctive 45 degree angle to the road.

7. 777 Tower

As graceful as one of our artists, the 777 Tower has a sleek, tapered design in glass and off-white steel. Completed in 1990, this 53-story tower owes its good looks to architect Cesar Pelli, who claimed he wanted to create a “poetry of precision” in his design. Looking at this spectacular addition to the Los Angeles skyline, we’d say he did a pretty good job.

The design of the 777 Tower is a stretched skin style, which includes some classic details. Stare up at the tower on a sunny day, and notice how the piers between windows bend the light to generate patterns across the tower’s surface.

8. Wells Fargo Tower

We’re big believers in the philosophy that life is better when you approach it at your own unique angle. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who designed the Wells Fargo Tower, appear to agree with us. The two towers of the Wells Fargo Center have parallelogram-shaped bases, which give them a singularly sharp appearance.

They’re clad in a beautiful reddish-brown granite, which makes them stand out from the silver, gray, and black that so many architects rely on. Between the towers, you’ll find shopping and dining opportunities, as well as a park-like indoor space with pools, fountains, and bronze nudes.

9. Figueroa at Wilshire

Figueroa at Wilshire, completed in 1990, is a 52-story skyscraper that embodies the essence of Modernist architecture. It’s even won awards, including BOMA’s International Building of the Year. Designed by Albert C. Martin & Associates, Figueroa at Wilshire stands tall just off the Harbor Freeway at 601 South Figueroa Street.

It’s conveniently close to other attractions, such as the City National Plaza (see below) and the US Bank Tower. Los Angeles tourists and residents owe this exciting part of the city a visit, as it’s a true utopia for lovers of urban architecture.

10. City National Tower

The City National Tower is one of a pair of towers that were once known as the Arco Towers, which frame the City National Plaza. The blocky glass box style of these towers is typical of the Corporate International architectural style.

Since these towers were completed in 1972, many other buildings in downtown LA — and other cities — have copied this iconic type of design. Strong, confident, and bold, these towers have their feet firmly rooted in the LA ground, even as their heads reach for the sky — just like us.

11. Paul Hastings Tower

The Paul Hastings Tower is the City National Tower’s twin. Matching the City National Tower floor for floor, it also stands at 699 feet. Between the towers is a beautiful plaza with a bright orange sculpture and fountain drawing the eye to its center. The sculpture is called “Double Ascension” and was created by Herbert Bayer.

Some people mourn the loss of the Art Deco Richfield Building that was demolished on this site in 1968 before the City National Plaza was built, but we think the plaza makes the loss worthwhile. However, traces of the older building remain.

Toward the rear of the plaza, you can see two bronze plinths featuring the Richfield’s old elevator doors. Once you've visited those old ghosts, head down into the underground mall for a bite to eat in the bustling food court.

12. Oceanwide Plaza

Say hello to the new kid on the block! Oceanwide Plaza is so new that its three towers — one of which is due to become the city’s tallest residential skyscraper — are still under construction. So far, the buildings are just shells, but the plan is to fill them with upscale apartments, a mall, and a five-star hotel.

Unfortunately, the company developing Oceanwide Plaza has run into financial difficulties, and the project has been up for sale for some time. Its future is still uncertain, but one thing is for sure — this project is history in the making!

13. L.A. Live Hotel & Condominiums

L.A. Live is a sports, entertainment, and residential district in downtown Los Angeles. Part of the development is a 54-story high-rise housing both a JW Marriot and a Ritz-Carlton hotel. It's also home to hundreds of luxury condominiums. In the tower are also several restaurants and cocktail lounges that are worth a visit, including the ION Rooftop Pool Bar.

In L.A. Live, you’ll also find the Nokia Theatre, which hosts the EMMY, ESPY and American Music Award shows. Pay a visit to the GRAMMY Museum, and grab a bite to eat at the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill in this hip-and-happening place that was named 2010 Project of the Year by Los Angeles Downtown News.

You might even be able to catch a live music performance at Club Nokia, which seats 2,300 people and has played host to some incredible musical acts.

14. Metropolis Tower D

If you have ever fantasized about high-rise living in the City of Angels, Metropolis Tower D could be the home of your dreams. One of three towers housing luxury residences in a single city block in downtown Los Angeles, Metropolis Tower D offers light, spacious apartments with stunning views of the Los Angeles skyline.

It’s a stone’s throw from L.A. Live and the Financial District. Take a long look at these towers, and let your imagination run wild about the possibilities of living in the clouds.

15. 820 Olive

Completed in 2019, 820 Olive is a new and exciting addition to the Los Angeles skyline. Now a proud member of the exclusive club of tallest LA buildings, 820 Olive stands at 563 feet and houses 589 housing units.

Designed by Chris Dikeakos Architects and developed by Omni Group, 820 Olive Street is the hottest new property for people looking for luxury living in Los Angeles.

More LA Skyscrapers and Ways To Experience the Skyline

Looking to get up close and personal with some of the tallest Los Angeles buildings? There are many opportunities to sleep or dine in a skyscraper during your trip to LA, making the experience one of the many hidden gems in Los Angeles. Get yourself in the mood for one of our heart-stopping shows by eating in a restaurant that literally puts you on top of the world. Return to a high-rise hotel room to let your dreams soar to the heavens.

Photographer: Alonso Reyes

16. The Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown: Urban Luxury at Its Finest

The Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel is the epitome of urban luxury. With stunning views and opulent surroundings, it can raise your stay in the city to another level. Be sure to take a trip up to the vertigo-inducing Sky Lobby on the 70th floor to work on your love for heights.

In addition to its great views of the LA skyline, the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown also boasts an incredibly convenient location. It’s close to Universal Studios, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Grammy Museum. However, you want to spend your time in the city, this is a great base from which to do it.

17. The Westin Bonaventure Hotel: A Sci-Fi Star

From Rain Man to Blue Thunder, a surprisingly large number of blockbusters have one thing in common: they all have scenes featuring the Westin Bonaventure Hotel.

The building even looks like something out of a sci-fi flick, with glass elevators racing up the curved sides of this sleek, shiny skyscraper. It’s said to be one of the ten most-photographed buildings in the world, so remember to bring your camera.

Will you recreate shots from In The Line of Fire or from Nick of Time? It’s probably best to avoid trying to emulate Arnold Schwarznegger’s character in True Lies, who rides a horse into one of the building’s elevators, though. Whatever your favorite on-film moment, your imagination is sure to be sparked by this sci-fi star.

18. Yamashiro: Dining in a Castle in the Sky

The Japanese Yamashiro literally takes dining to new heights. We love this Hollywood Hills restaurant. With its pagoda-style architecture and lush gardens, it’s like dining in a castle in the sky. But the stunning views aren’t the only reason to eat here — the menu is also to die for.

Japanese dishes such as charred octopus, fresh sashimi, and tasty boa buns are all on offer, along with cocktails that bring a little zen to your Los Angeles trip. Even more exciting are the smash cakes — heart-shaped cakes filled with chocolate and candy. Don’t miss your chance to tap your way through these sweet-treats with the cute little hammer provided.

An Ode to the LA Skyline

As we wrap up this architectural tour of the tallest, most beautiful Los Angeles buildings, we hope you feel inspired to get out there and see all the sights that this fantastic city has to offer. It’s impossible not to be in awe of the LA skyline, which evolves with each passing decade.

What better way to complement your heights-and-sights experience of the City of Angels than with a thrilling bit of immersive story and incredible athletics at our shows in Los Angeles? Our performers weave a narrative that will make your heart soar higher than the tallest skyscraper. We look forward to seeing you!

Photographer: Kayle Kaupanger

More articles about