Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Architect David Martin poses with an artist's concept of the New Wilshire Grand. His design for a signature skylight was a focus of a heated debate over whether it was practical and affordable.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Carpenters Omar Sanchez, left, and Anthony Rocha get into position to attach steel plates to concrete forms that will allow for the steel structure to be connected to the core on the New Wilshire Grand.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Tammy Jow, senior designer with A.C. Martin, helped defend the skylight concept. "In the eyes of estimators and contractors, anything square is better," she says. "The fact that we had something lyrical and poetic in the design is a conflict in their minds."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

The New Wilshire Grand is under construction in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Aspis is responsible for keeping the New Wilshire Grand project within budget. "We're not always viewed as the friendliest people in the room," he says.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Scott Borland said of the skylight design: "You've got to be kidding me."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Overall, shows the Wilshire Grand Center, under construction in Downtown Los Angeles, as viewed from 7th St. on September 4, 2014. When completed, it will be the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, its developers say, when its 160 foot spire is included.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Architect David Martin of A.C. Martin Partners is photographed at his home in Santa Monica in front of a watercolor he did showing the original concept for the single tower theme of the New Wilshire Grand that is currently under construction in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Ironworker Joseph Voll tightens rebar during construction of the 1,100-foot-tall Wilshire Grand tower. It will be the tallest structure west of Chicago, its developers say.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Carpenters do warmup exercises to loosen their muscles before starting their shift on the Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Carpenters loosen their muscles before starting work on the 73-story Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Ironworker Joel Ruvalcaba tightens up rebar during construction of the 73-story, 1,100-foot tall Wilshire Grand tower in Downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Apprentice Josh Magana, right, naps before the start of his shift on the Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Journeyman Craig Hoback, left, and apprentice Geovanny Castro place a ground well into position during construction of the Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Construction workers guide a jumping wall form system into place as it is lowered into position by a crane into the core of the Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

An overview of the New Wilshire Grand project construction site.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

The USC marching band leads a parade on Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles to kick off what became the world's largest continuous concrete pour.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Turner Construction Co. general superintendent Michael Marchesano, left, and Bill Depasquale, field operations superintendent, stand on the 18-foot-thick foundation of the New Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Remote-controlled booms are used to place concrete with accuracy as workers pour the foundation for the New Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

David De Loera wipes concrete from his face while helping to pour the foundation for the New Wlishire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Pipes are moved into position for the concrete pour at the New Wilshire Grand project.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

A temporary pipe is put into place to keep concrete from splattering as workers pour the foundation for the New Wilshire Grand tower in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Trucks dump their loads into pumps that send concrete through booms to the foundation.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

A concrete truck dumps its load into a pump at the New Wilshire Grand tower construction site.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES, CA-FEBRUARY 16, 2014: Concrete trucks dump their loads into concrete pumps using remote-controlled articulating robotic arms (called a boom) that are used to place concrete with pinpoint accuracy as workers pour the foundation for the 73 story, 1100 foot tall Wilshire Grand Center in Downtown Los Angeles that will be the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, its developers say, when its 160 foot spire is included. The concrete pour required 2100 truck loads delivering 21,200 cubic yards of concrete, weighing 82 million pounds. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon

Workers gather on Figueroa Street before the record-setting concrete pour for the foundation of the 73-story, 1,100-foot-tall New Wilshire Grand tower, which will be the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River upon its completion.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

A temporary pipe is put into place to keep concrete from splattering as workers pour the foundation for the New Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Workers direct concrete from a boom into the foundation of the New Wilshire Grand tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, left, and Yang Ho Cho, Chairman of Korean Air and the developer of the New Wilshire Grand project, push the switch on a remote control held by construction worker Mike Casad to activate the first pump during the start of the concrete pour. To the right of Cho To Cho's is his daughter Heather and at far right is State Senator Kevin De Leon.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

When finished, the New Wilshire Grand will rise 1,100 feet and be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The logistics for the concrete pour are daunting; crews have been preparing the site for five months.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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L.A.’s skyscraping New Wilshire Grand: Soaring designs fighting against the bottom line

The skylight rising above the entrance to the New Wilshire Grand is spectacular. Draped between the 1,100-foot skyscraper and its seven-story companion, the skylight runs nearly the length of a football field, dropping almost 60 feet — like a ski slope — as it flows between the two buildings and marks the entrance to the hotel. But then, everything looks good on paper.

1 Comment

  1. September 15, 2014, 11:02 am

    Great Pictures BUT how do I access the article that was in the Times on Sunday? I would like to send it to my Army Reserve son in Afghanistan who is a construction manager for similar projects when he is not on Reserve Duty.
    Thanks for your help

    By: j.pusztai@gmail.com

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