Ride the U.S. Bank Tower’s glass Skyslide with 70 floors of nothingness below you

U. S. Bank tower's glass skyslide
The slide is part of OUE Skyspace LA, the tallest open-air observation deck in California, offering visitors a 360-degree view of the city / © Brian van der Brug

A machine that makes the land pay.” That’s how architect and Manhattanite Cass Gilbert defined the skyscraper in 1900, when the building type was — ahem — just getting off the ground.

But the machine doesn’t pay like it used to, at least not when it comes to commercial skyscrapers that hold office suites instead of apartments or condos.

That’s one reason I found myself climbing onto a thin gray carpet Wednesday morning and careening down a steel-and-glass slide that has been attached — like a transparent worm, a see-through appendage — to the exterior of the tallest building in Los Angeles, the 1,018-foot-high U.S. Bank Tower.

After a trip that began on the 70th floor and spit me out rather unceremoniously onto a terrace on the 69th, it became clear why Singapore-based OUE Ltd., which bought the tower in 2013, expects a steady stream of visitors willing to shell out $27-$33 to experience the slide and adjacent observation deck.

The ride won’t exactly be a threat to Six Flags. Nor would I say I’m in a hurry to try it again. But it was an architectural experience, however brief, of a kind I don’t think I’ve ever had.

It’s also not tough to figure out why this particular tower is now topped by a major tourist attraction, which will open Saturday to the public. Designed by the architect Harry Cobb, a partner in I.M. Pei’s prolific firm, the building was originally known as Library Tower, for its downtown location across 5th Street from the Central Library. […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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