In large cities with skylines full of skyscrapers, it is quite common to find observatories that allow you to admire the view from above. New York City, for example, offers tourists the opportunity to visit several scenic skyscrapers (the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, and the Freedom Tower). Los Angeles did not want to be an exception, so it built its own observation tower downtown that is about 985 ft high and offers a 360-degree view over the entire city. Its name is OUE Skyspace and it has a unique feature that distinguishes it from other skyscrapers and can be especially interesting for those looking for an unusual experience. Let’s see what it is!
Skypace and Skyslide: What Is It?
The skyscraper we’re talking about, also one of the most recognizable in the Los Angeles skyline, has had many names. It is now called the U.S. Bank Tower, but before it was called the Library Tower and was originally named First Interstate Bank World Center. It was completed in 1989 after 2 years of work and is still the third tallest skyscraper in California (the tallest one is the nearby Wilshire Grand Center).
In 2014, the U.S. Bank Tower was purchased by Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. (OUE), which carried out numerous renovations on the building, including the construction of an observation deck (Skyspace), a restaurant (71Above on floor 71), and the Skyslide, a 43 ft transparent slide in the air that launches you onto the lower scenic terrace. The concept, as you can imagine, borders on the bizarre, and rather than use more words, it will be better to let the video below speak for itself:
Whether or not you want to experience the thrill of the high altitude “slide”, the Skyspace remains the highest observation deck in Los Angeles, so it’s the best experience to get a panoramic view of the city, take pictures of nearby skyscrapers (for example the Bonaventure, famous for its revolving restaurant) and enjoy the beautiful view at night. You can also see the famous Hollywood Sign in the distance.
Where Is It? How Do You Get There?
OUE Skyspace is located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, in front of the Los Angeles Central Library and near Bunker Hill Steps, the staircase leading to the Bunker Hill area. If you arrive by car, you can park directly in the underground parking lot of the complex, or if you want to spend a little less, you can have a look at my advice on where to park in Los Angeles. Instead, if you plan to take the metro, you can choose one of 2 useful stops:
- Pershing Square Station (purple and red lines)
- 7th Street / Metro Center Station (purple, red, blue, and Expo lines)
To learn more about the public transportation system in the city, take a look at our guide to getting around Los Angeles.
OUE Skyspace Tickets and Hours
There are 2 types of tickets. If you like the thrill and the idea of sliding over the skyscrapers of Los Angeles, you can opt for the full ticket. Otherwise, you can settle for the 360° (indoor) observatory and the 2 open-air panoramic terraces included in the basic ticket.
The OUE Skyspace is open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and you also have to access a room with multimedia exhibits. In the video below, you can get an idea of what awaits you when you enter the OUE Skyspace.
Other Attractions in Downtown
If you think that Downtown L.A. has little to offer compared to the other areas most visited by tourists, I wrote an article that will make you think again! If you want to give this area a chance to win you over, I recommend reading my itinerary in Downtown Los Angeles. There is a lot of art and architecture in this area, as well as some unusual attractions…
Where to Stay in the Surrounding Area
Downtown Los Angeles is also great to find accommodations, not only because of the many hotels in the area but also due to the proximity to other Los Angeles attractions and major neighborhoods. If you want to know more, I explained everything in my article with recommendations for accommodations in the city, which you can read by clicking on the button below: