U.S. Bank Tower | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

U.S. Bank Tower

This seventy-three-story skyscraper was originally known as the Library Tower because of its close association – both physical and historical – with the 1926 Central Library across the street.

The building was developed by Maguire Partners, who purchased the air rights above the historic library to add more height to the tower. This purchase also helped prevent the demolition of the library, helping to finance its rehabilitation and expansion.

Designed by Henry N. Cobb of the internationally celebrated firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the building was specifically designed to complement and not overpower the library. Based on concentric geometries, one circular and the other composed of right angles, the round high-rise features four soaring setbacks leading to a glass crown that shines like a beacon at night.

Light-colored cladding and bright-green glass contrast sharply with surrounding structures in darker tones. Its richness of materials, stylized Art Deco imagery, and elegant ornamentation embody the variety and vitality of corporate design in the late twentieth century.

Aviva High School
Photo by Devri Richmond

Aviva High School

Known for successfully integrating structures into existing landscapes and for solving problems on an individual basis, designers Ladd and Kelsey took advantage of the gently sloping site for this two-story building atop two levels of parking.
Pavilion for Japanese Art, LACMA
Photo by Nigel Lo

Pavilion for Japanese Art, LACMA

Divided into two volumes, the Pavillion features a sweeping, prow-like roof some have compared to a Shinto temple, an ancient samurai helmet, or even a building in Disney's Tomorrowland.
Los Angeles Center Studios
Photo courtesy www.you-are-here.com

Los Angeles Center Studios

The highest building in downtown Los Angeles upon its completion in 1958, the tower's successful adaptive reuse in 1998 illustrates the potential for new uses of historic buildings.