AKA: One Wilshire Boulevard Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Kreedman, S. Jon, and Company (firm); Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, (SOM), Los Angeles, CA (firm); S. Jon Kreedman (real estate developer); John Ogden Merrill (architect); Nathaniel Alexander Owings (architect); Louis Skidmore Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1964-1966

30 stories, total floor area: 919,391 sq. ft.

view all images ( of 1 shown)

624 South Grand Avenue
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90017-3876

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map

Overview

Built as an white-collar office building in the mid-1960s, by the 1980s, the telecommunications industry had begun to focus on 1 Wilshire Bouelvard as a site for microwave transmitting towers and later as a data center. By 2018, the building served as one of the most traffficked data nodes on the West Coast.

Building History

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) Architects designed this 30-story, 440-foot-tall office building for One Wilshire Associates, a New York, NY, investment group. (An SOM internal document indicated that its developer was S. Jon Kreedman and Company. Kreedman [1921-1999] was a Los Angeles developer. See SOM Office Buildings Study, "One Wilshire Building," [Chicago: Skidmore Owings and Merrill, c. 1982], np.) When built, it contained 700,000 square feet of Class A office space and cost $2.5 million. Law firms favored leasing suites in the building during its early decades as an executive office building.

By the 1980s, telecommunications companies were beginning to lease space on skyscraper roofs to mount microwave transmission equipment. MCI Coommunications, Incorporated, formed in 1963, was a competitor of the Bell companies, and was one of the participants in the landmark 1982 anti-trust case that broke up A, T, and T. Competing with a nearby Pacific Bell transmission tower, MCI leased space on the roof of 1 Wilshire Boulevard for its microwave antennas, beginning the focus of telecommunications firms on the building.

Builidng Notes

This 30-story building had five lower, below-grade levels. The building had a welded-steel, moment-resisting, space frame and isolated spread footings with a concrete mat under the central core. Secondary steek framing supported 4 and 1/2-inch concrete slabs. Exrernal bays measured 29 feet by 29 feet.

The interior had a 4-foot, 10-inch by 4-foot, 10-inch planning module. The ceilings had a height of 8 feet, 8 inches. Gross area per floor was 25,230 square feet. Gross square footage for the whole building was 919.391 square feet, 551,070 square feet, net. SOM equipped the tower with 12 passenger elevators serving two zones, 2 passenger/service elevators and 1 shuttle elevator. Heat was supplied originally by gas-fired water boiler. A central electric drive centrifugal chiller system provided air-conditioning. Ventilation came via a medium-pressure, double-duct system, each floor equipped with low-velocity runouts. (See SOM Office Buildings Study, "One Wilshire Building," [Chicago: Skidmore Owings and Merrill, c. 1982], np.)

Alteration

The lobby was being updated and the entire building renovated as of 11/1977.

Space in 1 Wilshire was transformed into a large datacenter for the real estate investment trust (REIT) CoreSite Realty Corporation. According to a CoreSite partner's web site, 1 Wilshire was renovated into a "...Tier 4 datacenter [that] is the preeminent telecommunications hub on the west coast and features all the amenities associated with the highest end datacenters. Home to the Meet Me Room, One Wilshire has tens of thousands of cross-connections making it perhaps the most interconnected space in the entire world." (See HalfCabinet.com, "Our Facilities," accessed 07/03/2018.)

The Center for Land Use Interpretation web site has said of 1 Wilshire Boulevard: "The interior is packed full of telecommunications equipment, connected to the world through dozens of major fiber optic conduits that spill into the building’s below-grade parking garage, from conduits running under the streets outside, and rise through the tower like an infestation of electronic vines. The fourth floor "meet me room" had some of the most valuable real estate in the city. According to the Center for Land Use Interpretation: "Perhaps the most inter-connected floorspace in the world, and among the most expensive real estate in North America, the 'Meet Me Room' (a telco industry term) is the heart of One Wilshire. It is where the primary fiber optic cables are routed, split, and shared, and, due to the access to so many major telco cables in the room, rackspace is of high value. If it were office space, $250 per square foot per month would be a bargain in the Meet Me Room. The average price for office space in downtown Los Angeles is $1.75 per square foot per month." (See Center for Land Use Interpretation.org, "One Wilshire: Telco Hotel Central," accessed 07/03/2018.) Originally, the fourth floor was given over to mechanical equipment, and therefore could support the heavy floor loads required of telecommunications equipment and its attendant mechanical systems. HVAC and electrical components were reduced in size on this floor to make more space for available for lucrative telecommunications rental locations.

A new wireless meet me room was also set up on the 30th floor, also the site of mechanical utilities in the original building.

PCAD id: 9947