Monday, May 11, 2009

Occidental Center Souvenir Building

This coin bank was commemorative souvenir produced for the Los Conquistadores Club Convention held in Los Angeles in April 1977. The souvenir building stands 6 inches tall and 8 inches long and has a coin slot at the top of the tallest tower. A replica of the occidental sold for $78.77 on eBay recently. Originally, it was home for the Occidental Life Insurance Company, later named the Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co. The real building was difficult to track down information about because the name has changed so many, many times. From Occidental Center to Occidental Life Insurance Tower to the TransAmerica Center to SBC Tower, the building is now named the AT&T Center. Recently, the building underwent a $35 million remodel that has dramatically altered its look. The tower has the distinction of being the first modern "skyscraper" in Los Angeles, California and is a 452ft (138m) tall. It was completed in 1965 and has 32 floors. The International styled building was designed by William Pereira & Associates, who also designed the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. Part of 12-acre complex which includes a 225,000-square-foot building at 1149 S. Broadway, a 300,000-square-foot building on Hill Street, three parking decks with 3,500 spots, and a 6-acre (24,000 m2) plot on the corner of Eleventh and Olive Streets. The three building are connected by underground pedestrian tunnels. Canyon-Johnson Realty Advisors bought the entire complex in April 2003 for $88 million. After they bought it, they converted the least occupied building into below market-rate apartments. In September 2006 Transamerica signed $75 million lease to retain its offices in the building. In 2007 to 2008 it went under a $35 million renovation. Windows restaurant used to be on the top floor of the building but was shut down at the end of July 2007. For downtown residents, the new luminous glass crown will be a welcomed addition to the evolving skyline

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