Archive for May, 2010

LA Adventure Specialist - 4:42 31 May 2010

Los Angeles City Hall

The building was designed by John Parkinson, John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr., and was completed in 1928. Dedication ceremonies were held on April 26, 1928. It has 32 floors and, at 454 feet (138 m) high, is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world, having undergone a seismic retrofit that will allow the building to sustain minimal damage and remain functional after a magnitude 8.2earthquake. Showcased on tours of Los Angeles, the concrete in its tower was made with sand from each of California’s 58 counties and water from its 21 historical missions. City Hall’s distinctive tower was based on the purported shape of the Mausoleum of Maussollos, and shows the influence of the Los Angeles Public Library, completed soon before the structure was started. An image of City Hall has been on Los Angeles Police Department badges since 1940.

Due in part to seismic concerns, prior to the late 1950s the City of Los Angeles did not permit any portion of any building other than a purely decorative tower to be more than 150 feet (46 m) high. Therefore, from its completion in 1928 until 1964, the City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles, and shared the skyline with only a few structures having decorative towers, including the Richfield Tower and the Eastern Columbia Building.

The building was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1976.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 4:33 30 May 2010

Fox Plaza

Fox Plaza is a 492 feet (150 m) high skyscraper with 35 floors in Century City, Los Angeles, California, a local landmark. Completed in 1987, the architects behind its design were Scott Johnson, Bill Fain and William L. Pereira. Owned by Orange County-based The Irvine Company, Fox Plaza is 20th Century Fox’s headquarters.

Former President of the United States Ronald Reagan occupied a penthouse on the 34th floor for several years after leaving public office. The 34th floor is now occupied by global management consulting firm, ZS Associates.

The Fox Plaza was the last building that Pereira worked on before his death in 1985.

The building has featured in at least four major motion pictures released by Fox. It appeared as Nakatomi Plaza, the setting of the firstDie Hard film, in which its destruction was accomplished using a scale model. The plaza and a neighboring building are the main setting for rock & roll comedy Airheads. The lobby featured in the opening scene of Speed.  Fox Plaza was also used as one of the buildings brought down at the end of Fight Club, and featured in “Family Guy” season 7, episode 10, “Fox-y Lady.”  Talked about on LA guided tours, Fox Plaza is featured in the video game, Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Fox Plaza is used for the corporate offices of Chimera Gas in the dark comedy Motorama. Fox Plaza is also used as the headquarters for Mr. Zalinsky’s Auto Parts in the movie Tommy Boy.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 4:30 29 May 2010

Wells Fargo Center

The Wells Fargo Center is an high-rise office complex located in downtown Los Angeles, California, United States. The complex includes two towers: the Wells Fargo Tower and KPMG Tower, which are connected by a three story glass clad atrium. It won the 1986-1987 and 2003-2004 Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) ‘Office Building of the Year’ award and numerous other awards.

The Wells Fargo Tower, at 723ft (220m) it is the taller building of the complex. It has 54 floors and is the 7th tallest building in the Los Angeles, and the 92nd-tallest building in the United States. When it opened in 1983, it was known as the Crocker Tower, named after San Francisco-based Crocker National Bank. Crocker merged with Wells Fargo in 1986. When the Wells Fargo Tower was being erected, its construction was featured in the 1983 movie Blue Thunder. The top upper floors were not completed during filming, so Roy Scheider’s character shot a helicopter chasing him from the unfinished top floor, often talked about on tours of Los Angeles.

The KPMG Tower is 560ft (171m) tall. It was completed in 1983 and has 45 floors. It is the 16th tallest building in the city.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 4:22 28 May 2010

Two California Plaza

Two California Plaza is a 750 ft (229 m) tall skyscraper located on the Bunker Hill District district of downtown in Los Angeles, California. The tower is part of the California Plaza project, consists of two unique skyscrapers, One California Plaza and Two California Plaza. The Plaza also is home to MOCA ( Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art), Colburn School of Performing Arts, the Los Angeles Omni Hotel and a 1.5 acre water court.

Completed in 1992, Two California Plaza stands has 1,329,000 square feet of office space. The towers were designed by Arthur Erickson Architects and named BOMA Building of the Year in 1997 and 2001.

The California Plaza was a ten year, $1.2 billion project. Started in 1983, the Two California Plaza tower was completed in 1992 during a significant slump in the downtown Los Angeles real estate market. The tower opened with only 30 percent of its space leased and overall vacancy rates in downtown office space neared 25%. It was nearly 10 years before significant tall buildings were completed again in the downtown Los Angeles, and sometime see from a distance on Hollywood tours.

The California Plaza was originally planned to include 3 high rise tower office buildings instead of the two completed. Three California Plaza at 65 floors, was planned for a site just north of 4th St., directly across Olive St. from California Plaza’s first two office highrises and was planned to house the Metropolitan Water District’s permanent headquarters.[4]

The construction and $23 million cost of the MOCA Grand Avenue building was part of a city-brokered deal with the developer of the California Plaza redevelopment project, Bunker Hill Associates, who received the use of an 11-acre, publicly owned parcel of land.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 4:19 27 May 2010

Aon Center

Aon Center is a modernist office skyscraper located at 707 Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles, California. Completed in 1973, it is the second-tallest building in Los Angeles at 858 feet  (262 meters) high, and has 62 floors. Designed by Charles Luckman, it is a rectangular black building with a white border, and a remarkably slender form for a skyscraper in a seismically-active area. Seen best on LA helicopter tours the logo of the Aon Corporation, its primary tenant, is displayed at the top in red.

It was originally the United California Bank Building from its completion in 1973 until 1984, when it became First Interstate Tower. When built, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, until surpassed by the Texas Commerce Tower in 1982. It remained the tallest building in Los Angeles until 1989 when the Library Tower (now the U.S. Bank Tower) was completed. Between 1998 and 2003, there were no logos on the building.

On May 4, 1988, a fire that began in the 12th floor just after 10:00 PM PST burned for four hours, destroyed five floors, injured 40 people, and left one maintenance worker dead when the elevator the worker was riding opened onto the burning 12th floor. The fire was so severe because the building was not equipped with a sprinkler system, which was not required for office towers at the time construction was completed in 1973. A sprinkler system was 90% installed at the time of the fire, however, the system was inoperative, awaiting the installation of water flow alarms. The fire was eventually contained at 2:19 AM, and caused $50 million in damages. Repair work took four months. Because of the fire, Los Angeles building codes were changed, requiring all high-rises to be equipped with fire sprinklers. This modified a 1974 ordinance that only required new buildings to contain fire sprinkler systems, grandfathering older buildings.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 4:15 26 May 2010

U.S. Bank Tower

The U.S. Bank Tower, formerly Library Tower and First Interstate Bank World Center, is a 310.3 m (1,018 ft) skyscraper at 633 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles, California. It is the tallest building in the state, the tenth-tallest the United States, the tallest west of the Mississippi River, and as of December 2009 it is the 40th-tallest building in the world. Because local building codes require the building to have a helipad, it is also the tallest building in the world with a roof-top heliport. Until the construction of Taipei 101, it was also the tallest building in a major active seismic region; its structure was designed to resist an earthquake of 8.3 on the Richter scale. It consists of 73 stories above ground that are great to fly over on private LA tours, and two parking levels below ground. Construction began in 1987 with completion in 1989. The building was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and cost $350 million to build. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in Los Angeles, often used in establishing shots for the city in films and television programs.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 4:14 25 May 2010

Shrine Auditorium

Opened in 1926, the current Shrine Auditorium replaced an earlier 1906 Al Malaikah Temple which had been destroyed by a fire on January 11, 1920. The fire gutted the original building in just 30 minutes, and nearly killed six firefighters in the process. The new auditorium was designed by San Francisco-based theater architect G. Albert Lansburgh, with local architects John C. Austin and A. M. Edelman associated.

In 2002, the Auditorium underwent a $15 million renovation that upgraded the auditorium’s stage with state-of-the-art lighting and rigging systems, and included new roofing and air conditioning for both the Auditorium and Expo Center, modernized concession stands, additional restrooms, repainting of the Expo Center, and a new performance plaza and parking garage. The entire complex follows a Moroccan architectural motif and on private Los Angeles Tours it is best enjoyed by helicopter.

The Shrine Auditorium seats approximately 6,300 people (reseated during the 2002 renovation from the original 6,700 capacity) and has a stage 194 feet (59 m) wide and 69 feet (21 m) deep.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:42 24 May 2010

PHOTOS: Universal Studios VIP FAM Tour

There are A LOT of photos from our VIP Familiarization Tour and romp up to the Hollywood Sign, scattered randomly for you to enjoy!

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LA Adventure Specialist - 9:00 21 May 2010

PHOTOS: Concierge Segway FAM Tour

This was an amazing Concierge Familiarization Tour!

Segway Training! It's easy and FUN

Getting hang of it!

Nestor the Segway Master!

Road Ready!

Venice here we come!!

Tony is loving it!!

Confidently Segway-ing!!

Peace - Love - Segway

The Goof Troop

The Goof Troop in color


Segway-ing through the Venice canals

Conquering a Venice Canal bridge!

Venice Canal-scape

At this point Nestor is an expert on this machine!!!

The tunnel beneath Santa Monica Pier! SOOOO COOOLLLL!!!

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LA Adventure Specialist - 10:24 18 May 2010

Los Angeles Attractions: The Miracle Mile

As one of the most densely populated areas of Los Angeles, The Miracle Mile is a buzzing stretch of Wilshire Boulevard located in-between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues. Many people are probably most familiar with The Miracle Mile through the 1988 film of the same name, but the area is one of the busiest in Los Angeles. The buildings lining the Boulevard are classic art deco structures and a spectacle in themselves.

One of the main attractions on the stretch is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which features four separate buildings and a wealth of original artwork. Traffic, as can be imagined, is a constant struggle, and as such, many people opt for Los Angeles helicopter tours while taking in the site—although you will have to venture in on foot to see the museum.

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