Library Tower

North Side of 5th Street, west of Grand Avenue

The cylindrical structure on the left was completed in 1989 using plans from J.M. Pei and Partners. At 1017 feet, it is the tallest building west of Chicago and east of Hong Kong, and perhaps symbolized the final rung in Los Angeles' climb toward world city status. The 350 million dollar project was nicknamed the Library Tower because it "borrowed" the air rights of the Los Angeles Central Library in exchange for support of the Library renovation. It is a round high rise with the diameter decreasing toward the top, and it is capped by a "lighthouse".


PHOTO: G. DeVerteuil

Bunker Hill Steps (Spanish Steps)

From 5th northward to Hope St.


In 1990 Los Angeles developed its own style of Rome's Spanish steps within the CBD. Designed by Lawrence Halprin, the 103 steps proceed up to Bunker Hill and are divided by a raised water channel whose water course seems to suggest a natural bedded stream. At the top of the steps stands Robert Graham's bronze sculpture Source Figure, a nude female atop a cylindrical pedestal. For more art, Click Here.

PHOTO: T. Boot.

Credit: Gayle Rein, 2004