I.M. Pei and the 34th Tallest Building in the World

We have a great view of downtown L.A.’s Financial District from our rooftop in the Historic Core.  The tallest building in the Financial District is the U.S. Bank Tower.  At 1,018 ft (310 m), it is the tallest building in California and the 34th tallest building in the world.  The U.S. Bank Tower used to be known as the Library Tower because the city sold the air rights above the Los Angeles Central Library to the developers of the skyscraper, thus enabling the tower’s construction next to the library and the library’s renovation.  I borrow many books from that library as my books remain in storage back home in Canada.  The U.S. Bank Tower was designed by I.M. Pei, the architect who is most famous for designing the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston and the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris.  I’ve never been to the JFK Presidential Library.  The last time I saw the Pyramide du Louvre was on the morning before our wedding.  We couldn’t sleep so we went for a walk at 5 am through the 1er arrondissement.  Paris in July is so quiet and cool at sunrise.  We had the courtyard of the Louvre and its crystal pyramids all to ourselves. 

Fun Facts: 

  • I.M. Pei first conceived of a glass and steel pyramid for the JFK Library in the 1960s, but stakeholders in Amherst, MA protested it would clash with the colonial Georgian architecture of Harvard Square.  The library was later built in Boston without the pyramid. 
  • I.M. Pei designed the glass and steel pyramids which now stand in the courtyard above the main lobby of the Louvre.  Critics panned the Pyramide du Louvre for clashing with the surrounding architecture when it was first constructed, but the design has aged well. 
  • I.M. Pei designed both the Pyramide du Louvre and the U.S. Bank Tower; both structures were completed in 1989.
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  1. Great shot! Thanks for the information, too! I love the cityscape!

    Like

    • rod edwards
    • July 6th, 2010

    LA has a great skyline that to it unknown to me at least. Great shot, great info!

    Like

  2. I read your blogfrequently and I have to admit it’sd really interesting ! 🙂

    Like

    • Scott Young
    • July 6th, 2010

    Verrry nice…

    Like

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