What Was the First High-Rise Built in L.A.?

At a whopping 12 stories

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What was the first high-rise built in L.A.?

The tallest high-rise of one generation can be the smallest of the next. The 12-story, 174-foot-tall Continental building at 4th and Spring was touted as a skyscraper when it opened shortly before the city capped building heights in 1904, and it was the tallest until our 28-story, 452-foot City Hall opened in 1928.

first skyscraper in los angeles continental building downtown
The Continental Building in 2005

Gary Leonard Collection/LAPL Photo Collection

Private buildings above 150 feet were not allowed until Proposition S took the top of the building code in 1956. A decade later, Union Bank Plaza on Figueroa exceeded the height of City Hall by 62 feet.


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