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1 California Plaza photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

1 California Plaza photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

1 California Plaza photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

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One California Plaza

Built: 1983-1985
Designed by: Arthur Erickson Architects
Type: Skyscraper
Stories: 42
Maximum Height: 578 feet / 176 meters
Location: 300 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, United States
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T hough is it one of the city's most visible skyscrapers, One California Plaza is the little brother of Two California plaza. But as in many developments, one would be incomplete without the other.

Both One and Two California Plaza share the same basic physical characteristics -- a blue glass box incompletely wrapped around opposing corners by a darker blue extrusion. Think of it as two boxes merging with one another, and their farthest corners rounded off. The contrasting shades of blue add visual interest while the projection allows for more corner offices, interesting curves, and ultimately a setback near the top of the building.

Adding to the asymmetry is a black band on a mechanical floor about a quarter of the way up. This could have been easily hidden and blended with the rest of the building, but leaving it exposed provides yet another point of interest, and a device to lead wandering eyes laterally around the curve of the building, instead of straight to its top.

  • Architecture firm: Arthur Erickson Architects
  • Architecture firm: Gruen Associates
  • Architecture firm: Kamnitzer & Cotton
  • Developer: Bunker Hill Associates
  • The fountains were designed by WET Design.
  • California Plaza's water stage is made of Borington green slate.
  • The land this building is on is actually owned by Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency.

  • Floor space: 991,836 square feet
  • Stories above ground: 42
  • Stories below ground: 5
  • Parking: 1,313 spaces
  • Elevators: 25

  • 1983: The city leases this land to the developer for 99 years.
  • 1989: This building is named BOMA Building of the year.
  • 2003: Metropolitan Life Insurance sells this building to Maguire Properties for $225 million.

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Did You Know?
  • A third tower was planned for California Plaza, but was never built.

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