Wilshire Tower Grand Pour

Wilshire Tower 

The Wilshire super tower is now under construction in the Los Angeles Financial District. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, once the New Wilshire Grand is built, this 73-story skyscraper will rise 1,100 feet and will be considered the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The marathon pour for the foundation of the Wilshire Tower lasted 26 hours and was dubbed the Wilshire Tower Grand Pour. After nearly 2,000 truckloads of cement had emptied their contents, the workers had lain down more than 21,200 cubic yards of concrete.

According to Brandan Mathis, who was one of the many cement inspectors for this amazing project, the inspectors were responsible for every truck full of cement that left the plant, and they made sure all the trucks met code. Mathis said the total weight was roughly 84 million pounds of cement poured, making it the world’s largest uninterrupted pour of concrete in history. Judges from the Guinness Book of World Records were on site to verify that. Eight concrete plants were used to fill the huge order. Each plant was no more than 20 miles from the site to insure the trucks could deliver the concrete within 90 minutes after being mixed. Any longer, and the concrete would not be usable.

The size of the mega hole to be filled was half the length, and the actual width, of a football field. Twining Inc. was one of the inspection labs on this project. Twining has provided inspection for many Los Angeles landmark sites. There were physically hundreds of workers on site and at the cement plants. They all worked straight 12-hour shifts and longer. Their efforts paid off, and the Wilshire Tower Grand Pour was a huge success. The challenge was enormous with the final results being realized 26 hours later. Such a large amount of cement being poured at one time will generate its own heat, so to combat that issue, cooling units were placed within the massive slabs to keep the concrete at a controlled temperature. It is estimated to take, at least, two weeks to cure.

Originally, the Wilshire Grand Hotel was called the Hotel Statler upon opening in 1952. It was on the same site as the new Wilshire Grand is now. The cost at that time was considered the largest single building permit ever issued. Over $15 million for the hotel’s construction. The hotel quickly became a landmark of downtown Los Angeles. Hilton Hotels & Resorts purchased the Statler Hotels chain in 1954. In 1968 Hilton completed a $2.5 million renovation of the hotel and renamed it the Los Angeles Hilton & Tower. In 1983 a Reliance Group purchased the hotel and invested a cool $30 million to renovate, again. Korean Air then purchased the Los Angeles Hilton from Reliance in 1989. They changed management and the new name became the Omni Los Angeles Hotel in 1995. Later, in 1999 the Wilshire Grand Hotel got its name.

Korean Air decided this newly constructed hotel was going to be the tallest building in Los Angeles and rival all others. Their vision was to model the look similar to that of New York’s Times Square. The estimated cost will exceed $1 billion. The project will feature five levels of underground parking, convention space, plush office units, fabulous restaurants, and a 900-room hotel. The amazing design was created by AC Martin Partners, and the main contractor is Turner Construction. Standing high and above every other building in Los Angeles, the Wilshire Tower Grand Pour will be the foundation for the 73-story skyscraper set to open in 2017.

by Christine Schlichte

L.A. Times

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