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Downtown's Last Major Crane Coming Down

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 04:27PM
Ritz Crane Coming Down Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Downtown's last major tower crane is lowered down the side of L.A. Live's Ritz Carlton tower.

Downtown is losing the last and the tallest of the tower cranes that built South Park's residential rebirth. Now that major construction activity has wrapped, the crane that stood above L.A. Live's Ritz Carlton tower is being disassembled.

In the summer of 2007, a half dozen of the cranes stood within a few blocks of L.A. Live, with the two on-site at the complex joined by others atop South Group's Evo, Hanover's 717 Olympic, Meruelo's 717 W. 9th and Astani's Concerto.

The Ritz crane was the tallest of the bunch, standing over the 54-story tower. The last of two construction lifts came off the side of the building last week.

The tower's aggressive use of new techniques has kept it ahead of schedule throughout the construction process. Nabih Youssef, president of structural engineering firm Nabih Youssef Associates, in October told a steel industry event that the tower's design comes from battleship engineering.

Instead of concrete, the structure is supported via steel-plate sheer walls. The building is the first in Los Angeles to use the technique, and the move reduced weight 30% and shaved 3-4 months off the timeline.

Once finished, the structure will hold the 879-room J.W. Marriott (floors four through 21), the 123-room Ritz Carlton hotel (floors 22 through 26) and the 224-unit Residences at the Ritz Carlton (floors 27 through 52).

The hotels are scheduled to open on February 15, 2010.


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