Wells Fargo Center | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Michael Locke

Wells Fargo Center

Now known as Wells Fargo Center, the complex at 333 South Grand was designed by the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Although the design of the complex is based on the conventional ground plan of two towers flanking a smaller building (like the earlier ARCO Towers), the architects put a twist on Corporate International "glass box" design by giving these towers parallelogram-shaped bases with sharp angles soaring into the sky.

The towers and central building are clad in light reddish-brown granite, signifying the beginning of the movement away from black, grey, and silver as the color of choice for corporate high-rises. All three buildings are linked by a plaza/promenade that is punctuated by trees, benches, and large sculpture.

The low building between the towers houses shopping and dining areas. The interior is atrium-style, designed by noted landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, who also designed the Bunker Hill Steps. Trees, fountains, and the use of exterior materials such as rough-hewn granite give the atrium a park-like atmosphere. Bronze nudes by Los Angeles-based artist Robert Graham adorn a network of pools and fountains.

Arthur Murray Office and Studio
Photo by Devri Richmond

Arthur Murray Office and Studio

Featuring front studios with floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls, Arthur Murray's ultramodern Los Angeles office and studio was a precursor to the mid- and high-rise office buildings that would dominate Wilshire Boulevard in the coming decades.
Gehry House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Gehry House

Starting with a Dutch Colonial Revival and building around it, Gehry would strip much of the interior while adding a new exterior of wood clad in plywood, glass, corrugated metal, and chain-link fencing.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Century Plaza Towers

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.