Century Plaza Towers | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Century Plaza Towers

The Century Plaza Towers are among the tallest and most recognizable buildings in Century City, towering over many of their neighbors at a height of forty-four stories.

Completed in 1975, they were commissioned by the aluminum company ALCOA as part of the larger Century City development. Initially, the Century Plaza Towers were positioned on an axis with the crescent-shaped Century Plaza Hotel, which sits directly across Avenue of the Stars. The buildings were linked by an underground passageway that allowed pedestrians to traverse between them without crossing the busy avenue.

Renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki designed the matching towers, which are frequently compared to his twin tower design for the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

Like the World Trade Center, the Century Plaza Towers are distinguished by their vertical black-and-gray elements that emphasize their already-impressive height, and feature abundant aluminum cladding (no surprise, considering their original owner). They differ in their unusual triangular footprints, adding an unexpected angularity to their monumental size, and, of course, in their shorter height; unbelievably, Yamasaki's World Trade Center towers were nearly three times as tall, at 110 stories.

The largely hardscaped plaza between the two buildings has been converted to a landscape of lawns and flowering trees known as Century Park. Yamasaki's design for the Corporate International-style towers reflects his belief that buildings should use the smallest possible amount of materials to attain the greatest possible stability, function, and aesthetic appeal. The Century Plaza Towers are indeed minimalist in materials and decoration, but are truly beautiful achievements in Modern design.

Photo by Laura Dominguez/L.A. Conservancy

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The Kettle in 2019. Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy.

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Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

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