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AT&T Tower (Los Angeles) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

AT&T Tower (Los Angeles) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

AT&T Tower (Los Angeles) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

AT&T Tower (Los Angeles) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

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AT&T Tower

Official name: AT&T Madison Complex Tandem Office
Also known as: AT&T Switching Station
Formerly: SBC Tower
Formerly: Pacific Bell Tower
Formerly: Pacific Telephone Tower
Built: 1961
Designed by: John B. Parkinson and Donald D. Parkinson
Type: Tower
Stories: 17
Maximum Height: 448 feet / 137 meters
Location: 420 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, United States
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M ost American cities have at least one, if not more, antiquated telephone switching buildings in their downtown cores. These structures serve as a reminder that not all that long ago we relied on piles of electromechanical equipment in windowless buildings with microwave towers soaring high above to keep connected with family and friends.

For a number of reasons these days the old buildings are bypassed by fancy fiber optics and carrier hotels, but their microwave towers still stretch into the sky reminding us of a time when the world wide web was science fiction and not a gadget in our pockets.

The AT&T tower in downtown Los Angeles is one of the better preserved, and better looking of these relics. Its towers starts off as a solid four-sided rectangle, but gracefully unfolds as it gains height into an eight-sided platform for two levels of microwave horns. A much more complicated version of this architectural origami is performed at the building's roof where the middle of the platform has 52 sides as it transitions from one solid square into a catwalk lattice.

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