A U.S. Bank Tower glass slide is due to open this summer. Once completed, the glass slide will be attached to the side of the U.S. Bank Tower, slanting downward from the 70th floor to the 69th floor. Brave customers who have an extra few bucks to spare for a ticket will be able to pay to suspend themselves 1,000 feet above the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
So, what’s the point of building a fully-enclosed, 45-foot-long glass slide onto the side of the tallest building in Los Angeles? According to the building’s new owner, Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. (OUE) out of Singapore in Southeast Asia, the U.S. Bank Tower glass slide is more of a novelty item than a time-saver for people who would rather forego an elevator ride.
OUE, which is owned by the Indonesian real estate development company Lippo Group, bought the U.S. Bank Tower in 2013 and is known for acquiring high-rise hotel and office building skyscrapers.
“We are shaping our future by diversifying into commercial, retail and residential developments, in addition to our hospitality excellence,” according to the OUE website.
U.S. Bank Tower, previously known as the First Interstate Bank World Center, as well as the Library Tower, was completed in 1989 as part of a redevelopment project following two fires in 1986. U.S. Bancorp renamed the 72-story building to U.S. Bank Tower in 2003. In 2014, OUE announced a $50 million makeover of the U.S. Bank Tower.
OUE’s renovation of the U.S. Bank Tower includes construction of an observation deck on the 69th floor, along with a bar on the 70th floor and a restaurant on the 71st floor, which is said to be the first restaurant of its kind in Los Angeles. The U.S. Bank Tower glass slide will allow visitors to quickly glide down to the observation deck on the 69th floor from the 70th floor.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S. Bank Tower faces increasing competition from other already newly-renovated historic buildings in the central business district of Los Angeles. Located on West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles, the addition of the unique glass side is expected to increase traffic and revenue for the U.S. Bank Tower.
Known as one of the most recognizable skyscrapers in Los Angeles, the U.S. Bank Tower was already often used as a location for shooting films and TV programs in the city. OUE Limited hopes that completion of the glass slide will help to draw even more sightseeing locals and tourists to the tower. But to simply tour the new observation deck will cost visitors $25, and using the slide will cost an extra $8 for a ticket.
Gensler, an American design and architecture firm based out of San Francisco, California, will be taking on the construction of the U.S. Bank Tower glass slide. Specializing in brand strategy, Gensler designed the Skyslide much like London’s Sky Pool, a swimming bridge that connects two towers in London’s Nine Elms district.
Curbed L.A. compares the proposed U.S. Bank Tower glass slide to the three all-glass observation boxes stuck to the 103rd floor of the west side of the 108-story Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois. According to Curbed L.A., the glass slide is expected to be built using four-inch thick clear glass and will hover at least 1,000 feet above streets, businesses, and thousands of Los Angeles residents. The entire renovation project dubbed “Skyspace” is projected to be complete by mid-2016.
Public opinion on the Skyslide has so far been mixed. Some say the glass slide looks like fun, while others say they wouldn’t pay $8 to slide down one floor. What are your thoughts? Do you think the new U.S. Bank Tower glass slide is an attraction for thrill seekers or thrill suckers?
[Photo by GeoBeats News/YouTube]