News / City Life

Braving the glass Skyslide at the US Bank Tower's Skyspace

SkySpace US Bank Tower
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

You don't see many observation decks in Los Angeles. Rooftop bars? Sure. Hikes with amazing views? Absolutely. But there's something about the hazy skies and stodgy skyline that make for less than ideal observation deck conditions—City Hall aside. That said, it's hard to argue with a view of the city from 70 stories high.

Skyspace LA is opening atop the US Bank Tower, currently the tallest building on the West Coast. Visitors are whisked up 70 floors for views of nearly the entire LA basin, from the mountains out to the ocean. Even on a hazy day, you'll surely be able to spot landmarks like Echo Park Lake, the Hollywood Sign and literally every other building in the area, which—other than the still-rising Wilshire Grand—look comically pint-sized.

In addition to a two-level indoor area, Skyspace features two outdoor observation decks that sit nearly 1,000 feet above the Downtown streets. To put that into perspective, the observation deck resides at nearly the same height as the Griffith Observatory. One floor higher, you'll find the fine dining restaurant 71Above.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

 

 

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

The biggest story, though, is Skyslide, the glass-encased slide attached to the building's exterior that shuttles visitors from the 70th floor down to the 69th. The slide isn't as terrifying as you'd think, mostly because it's over and done with in fewer than five seconds—that said, the squeals and expletives echoing down the slide make us think we might be in the minority. While we certainly had fun—it's fast—our actual ride down the slide felt like a blur. Watching other people scream as they slide down, though, is ceaselessly enjoyable. Just a word of caution: Even if you're able to sneak a camera on the slide, you're probably going to want both hands free for when you come tumbling out the other end.

 

 

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

 

 

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

 

 

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

 

 

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

You start off your journey halfway up the Bunker Hill Steps, at a dedicated Skyspace kiosk and entrance. Step inside and you'll find a polished, theme-park like experience, from the majestic musical score to the video displays that line the walls on the way to the express elevators. Before reaching the observation deck, you'll make a pit stop on the 54th floor, which features a wraparound time-lapse video of LA and an illuminated old elevator shaft, which we're sure will become an Instagram staple.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

 

Much will be made about Skyspace as Downtown's first true tourist destination, and we're sure Skyslide specifically will have droves of tourists lining up. But even native Angelenos should enjoy the surreal view of their home from 70 floors up.

Skyspace LA opens to the public on Saturday, June 25. A timed general admission ticket costs $25 for adults, and an extra $8 to ride the Skyslide. In celebration of its opening, Skyslide is hosting a free block party on Saturday with performances from Snoop Dogg and Far East Movement.

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