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City National Plaza is a twin tower skyscraper complex on South Flower Street in western Downtown Los Angeles, California, United States. It was originally named ARCO Plaza upon opening in 1971.

City National Plaza
Paul Hastings and City National Towers
City National Plaza is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
City National Plaza
Location within the Los Angeles metropolitan area
City National Plaza is located in California
City National Plaza
City National Plaza (California)
City National Plaza is located in the United States
City National Plaza
City National Plaza (the United States)
Former namesARCO Plaza (1971–2005)
Alternative namesARCO Center
ARCO Plaza
ARCO Plaza North Tower
ARCO Plaza South Tower
Atlantic Richfield Towers
Bank of America Tower
Los Angeles Twin Towers
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Location505-555 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°03′03″N 118°15′25″W / 34.0508°N 118.2569°W / 34.0508; -118.2569Coordinates: 34°03′03″N 118°15′25″W / 34.0508°N 118.2569°W / 34.0508; -118.2569
Construction started1969
ManagementCommonWealth Partners
Roof213.3 m (700 ft)
Technical details
Floor count52
Floor area206,000 m2 (2,220,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectAlbert C. Martin & Associates
Main contractorRobert E. McKee, Inc.


Richfield TowerEdit

The present complex is on the site of the landmark Richfield Tower, that was designed in the Art Deco style by Morgan, Walls & Clements, and completed in 1929. It was the headquarters of the Atlantic Richfield oil company. It was demolished in the spring of 1969.

ARCO PlazaEdit

The current skyscraper complex was built as the ARCO Plaza, with a pair of 213.3 m (700 ft) 52-story office towers. One became the new world headquarters for the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), the present day Paul Hastings Tower.[9] An underground shopping complex was accessed by open escalators from the street level plaza.

Upon completion in 1971,[10] the ARCO Plaza towers were the tallest buildings in the city for one year before being overtaken by Aon Center, and were the tallest twin towers in the world until the completion of the World Trade Center in New York City. The towers are the tallest twin buildings in the United States outside of New York City, where the 55-floor Time Warner Center stands at 750 ft (230 m).

In 1986, joint owners ARCO and Bank of America sold the buildings to Shuwa Investments Corp., the American subsidiary of Shuwa Co. of Tokyo, for $650 million while both remained tenants in their respective named towers.[11] Shuwa later sold the property in 2003 to Thomas Properties Group and other investors for $270 million.[12][13][14]

The towers are constructed of steel frames covered with polished panels of forest green granite and panes of bronze glass, however, in 2016, the exterior of the top two floors and the service roof of The Paul Hastings Tower were modified on the north, east, and south flanks to house their upgraded headquarters and offices. This modification features silver trim and panes of light green glass panels.

City National PlazaEdit

The ARCO Plaza complex was renamed City National Plaza in 2005,[15] and the south and north towers, respectively, were renamed City National Tower and Paul Hastings Tower.[16] The low-rise building at the back of the plaza is known as the Jewel Box, and is occupied by the Gensler architectural firm.

The plaza includes a monumental sculpture-fountain, Double Ascension by artist Herbert Bayer.


In popular cultureEdit

  • Featured throughout the 1971 movie The Omega Man (which was filmed during the Plaza's construction phase) in various stages of completion.
  • Plaza area and water sculpture featured in the 1976 film, Marathon Man.
  • The complex was also extensively featured in the 1976 NBC mini-series, The Moneychangers, which starred Kirk Douglas, Christopher Plummer, Susan Flannery, Anne Baxter and Timothy Bottoms. The Bank of America branch then located in the jewel Box was rebadged as the First Mercantile American Bank (FMA) main branch for both exterior and interior filming. Multiple exterior shots of the ARCO tower (now the Paul Hastings Tower) were used to suggested it as the location of FMA's executive offices.
  • The north "Paul Hastings" tower was depicted as being struck by an air-to-air Sidewinder missile (a shot which utilized a detailed miniature of both towers), in the 1983 film, Blue Thunder.
  • In the 2015 film San Andreas, the twin towers were shown swaying violently during an earthquake and in a later shot, the Paul Hastings tower was shown falling on the City National Tower.
  • Featured in "Adam-12 Skywatch part 1". Reed and Malloy locate robbery suspects on the 26th floor while cross training with the helicopter unit.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Paul Hastings Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ "City National Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  3. ^ City National Plaza at Emporis
  4. ^ City National Tower at Glass Steel and Stone (archived)
  5. ^ Paul Hastings Tower at Glass Steel and Stone (archived)
  6. ^ "City National Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  7. ^ "Paul Hastings Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  8. ^ City National Plaza at Structurae
  9. ^ "ARCO...A Global Energy Company". Atlantic Richfield Company. 9 December 1997. Archived from the original on 13 January 1998. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  10. ^ Weaver, John D. (October 1, 1972). "L.A. Grows Up". Los Angeles Times. p. N33. The latest additions to L.A.'s urban landscape are the twin 52-story towers of Atlantic Richfield Plaza--a mammoth, $188-million office complex and shopping center that rises on the same square block at Fifth and Flower where the old, gold-spired... Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  11. ^ Broder, John M. (August 5, 1986). "Arco, B of A Will Sell Twin Tower Complex in L.A. : Deal With U.S. Unit of Shuwa Co. in Japan Will Give Both Needed Cash". Los Angeles Times.
  12. ^ Vincent, Roger (January 18, 2003). "Developer to Buy Arco Plaza: Once considered L.A.'s best corporate address, the complex is sold for $270 million, less than half its purchase price 16 years ago". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ "Thomas Properties Moves to Arco Plaza". Los Angeles Times. March 12, 2003.
  14. ^ Vincent, Roger (July 22, 2013). "Thomas Properties angling to buy out CalSTRS in joint venture". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ "Thomas Properties Group Signs Law Firm Fulbright & Jaworski at Arco Plaza". Business Wire (Press release). August 9, 2004.
  16. ^ Sanchez, Jesus (December 14, 2001). "Arco Tower to Become Paul Hastings Tower". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  17. ^ Roger Vincent (February 4, 2011). "Architecture firm Gensler to move from Santa Monica to downtown L.A." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  18. ^ Our Offices Archived 2012-06-14 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Regus Office Space in Los Angeles
  20. ^ Law Firm Takes Two Floors in City National Tower
  21. ^ Thomas Properties Group Signs Law Firm Fulbright & Jaworski At City National Plaza Archived 2013-02-04 at
  22. ^ Jones Day’s Los Angeles office relocates to City National Tower In downtown L.A.
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ "Kroll Office Locations". Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ "Turner Construction Office Network: Los Angeles / Anaheim". Turner Construction. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  27. ^ [3]

Further readingEdit

  • Cameron, Robert (1990). Above Los Angeles. San Francisco: Cameron & Company. ISBN 0-918684-48-X.

External linksEdit