6500 Wilshire | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

6500 Wilshire

The intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente Boulevards is a busy place, dominated by sleek high-rise office buildings looming over the traffic below. One of the most magnificent is the tower at 6500 Wilshire, its angled mass standing tall on a triangular corner lot. Completed in 1986, the tower was originally the western region headquarters of Cadillac Fairview/California, a subsidiary of a Canadian real estate development company.

Cadillac Fairview hired architects I. M. Pei and the Luckman Partnership to design its flagship building, apparently sparing no expense in either construction or materials. The result is an impressive twenty-three-story building that is nearly rectangular in plan except for one corner that was “cut away” to break up the mass and create a dramatic reflective surface facing San Vicente. The tower is sleekly clad in reddish-brown Brazilian granite and reflective bronze glass, with all of its surfaces appearing to be flush for an aerodynamic and strangely artificial effect.

In some lights, it resembles a CGI building digitally inserted into a street scene when a Hollywood director decided a shot’s actual building wasn’t dramatic enough.

The building’s interior was similarly finished with rich materials. Between the fine finishes, the clean Late Modern lines, and the rooftop helicopter pad, 6500 Wilshire begs for consideration one of the more extravagant, if architecturally successful, excesses of the 1980s.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Valley Plaza Tower

A distinctive Valley landmark that was among the first skyscrapers built in L.A. after the 1957 repeal of a 150-foot height limit, this Corporate International style building dominated the North Hollywood landscape for years.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Air and Space Gallery, California Science Center

Architect Frank Gehry's first major public work celebrates California's history in the aviation and aerospace industries with an ingenious use of space and light, an allusion to the challenges of aerospace design.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Al Struckus House

Embodying architect Bruce Goff's philosophy of organic architecture, which held that each design should be as unique as its owner, the building undeniably reflects the architect's "gonzo flair."