The tallest building west of the Mississippi River opened its doors on Friday in once-stodgy downtown Los Angeles, which is sprouting a crop of new skyscrapers. The 73-story Wilshire Grand Center has a huge spire that brings its height to 1,100 feet, topping the nearby US Bank Tower by more than 80 feet, reports the AP. The Bank Tower had held the height record since 1989. Critics might argue that a spire rising nearly 200 feet above the top of the building should not count, but it meets the criteria of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which lists the world's tallest buildings based on the "architectural top of the building." The skyscraper is still dwarfed by buildings on the East Coast and overseas.
In the US, One World Trade Center is 1,776 feet tall, making it the sixth-largest completed building in the world. The tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, rises 2,717 feet, or more than a half-mile high. The Los Angeles building, located in the Financial District, cost about $1.2 billion to build. Construction began in 2014, but work on the tower was shut down for two days last year when an electrician killed himself by jumping from the 53rd floor. The tower includes a massive, stabilizing central core and braces designed to act as shock absorbers to withstand gusty Santa Ana winds and earthquakes. Southern California has dozens of faults, and the building is designed to withstand about a magnitude-7.5 temblor. (Read more skyscraper stories.)