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Taking the L.A. Out of Downtown's Skyline

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, November 06, 2007, at 10:54PM
Honda's Fake Downtown Eric Richardson [Flickr]

I was flipping through ESPN The Magazine yesterday and was struck by this Honda ad, appearing on pages 10 and 11. It's a smoggy colored skyline shot was Honda touting blue skies ahead, and I immediately through "Hey, it's Downtown."

Then I looked closer.

I recognized most of the buildings, but the shot as a whole just didn't make sense. Things weren't in their right place. It was Downtown as jigsaw puzzle, and the pieces were definitely put together all wrong.

Upon further reflection, clearly this started as a shot of Downtown Los Angeles taken from the northwest. Honda's ad agency didn't want the shot to register as "L.A.," though, so they took the buildings and jumbled them. The Aon tower magically moves south of the Wedbush building, with a cloned Bunker Hill Tower sitting in front of it.

Most telling is their complete elimination of Downtown L.A.'s one signature landmark -- U.S. Bank Tower. If you check out the close up at the top right you'll note the Citigroup building at 444 S. Flower and the Gas Company Tower, but in between -- where U.S. Bank Tower should be -- is some brown monolith that doesn't exist.

Two more closer looks for your viewing pleasure:

Honda's Fake Downtown

Honda's Fake Downtown

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