Wilshire Beverly Center
The Wilshire Beverly Center building is a commanding office building on a triangular lot at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive. It is a remarkable International Style high-rise that stands out even in the commercial heart of Beverly Hills, an area filled with other examples of eye-catching architecture. Completed in 1962, the building was part of a block-long development by the Buckeye Construction Company and held the largest Bank of America branch office in the nation, along with other tenants from medical offices to airline headquarters.
Victor Gruen Associates designed the nine-story building with an irregularly shaped plan to accommodate the angled lot and to emphasize both the front and side façades. The Wilshire-facing façade smoothly angles inward to highlight the flow of deeply set horizontal bands of dark windows that contrast with the lavish white stone cladding that covers the whole building. At the corner, the narrow vertical façade is punctuated by a monumental grid of black granite, gently curving along with the face of the office tower. The effect is nearly sculptural, and very beautiful. Beneath the breathtaking edifice lies a reminder of the Cold War: three levels of subterranean parking were prepared to handle up to 4,000 people for fourteen days in the event of a nuclear disaster.