LA Has Drawn The Tower

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 3 min read
Photo courtesy of the LA Times. Shows a tagger spray painting the heavily tagged Oceanwide Plaza tower. Five stories are visible.

(Photo courtesy of the LA Times)

People who go to Tarot readers (and there's no shortage of those in Los Angeles) often fear the Death card the most. According to a dear old friend who learned Tarot from her grandmother, they should fear the Tower more.

The Tower, most commonly depicted as a tall tower being struck by lightning, means disaster. It can mean destruction, upheaval, tragedy, trauma, and loss.

Los Angeles has a real-life Tower card of sorts staring it right in the face: 1101 Flower Street, aka the unfinished Oceanwide Plaza.

Oceanwide Plaza would have featured a three-story open-air mall, a Park Hyatt hotel, condos serviced by the Park Hyatt (essentially an option to live in a hotel), and two towers' worth of residential condos.

Would have. As I've explained previously, some developers make promises and don't keep them.

By now, I'm pretty sure everyone already knows that Oceanwide Plaza, commissioned by an overseas holding company, has been sitting across the street from the Staples Center (no one calls it Arena, so neither will I), unfinished, for years. It's rather hard to ignore the fact that taggers have gotten in and gone hog-wild, tagging at least 27 floors.

The 54-story site was originally an empty parking lot, so it COULD HAVE put the land to higher (heh) and better use.

But noooo, the developer ran out of money and had ties to the disgraced and corrupt (and soon-to-be-imprisoned) José Huizar.

Experienced Tarot readers may tell you that the Tower can indicate something falling apart because it was built up on an unsteady foundation. I'm not aware of any reason to be worried about Oceanwide Plaza collapsing anytime soon, but the basis for approving its construction may very well have been shaky in the first place. Especially since Huizar was involved.

Did city employees perhaps rubber-stamp something they shouldn't have? Only they know for sure.

Regardless, the building is so heavily tagged that the tags can be seen from the freeway and the Sixth Street Bridge alike.

Some people see the colorful tagging as art, others as a sign of everything that's wrong with LA.

Oceanwide Plaza already was a sign of what's wrong with LA before the taggers broke in. It's an abandoned, incomplete project that was okayed for the wrong reasons and involved promises its developer failed to keep, and accountability has been nearly nonexistent.

Gunfire broke out at Oceanwide Plaza mere hours ago. This isn't going to go away quietly.

Depending on its placement in a reading, the Tower card can also serve as a warning of what will happen if the subject of the reading does not change course. Hint hint.

I couldn't tell you what will happen to Oceanwide Plaza next, but the Grammy Awards are supposed to take place across the street tomorrow. That's DTLA in a nutshell: a prestigious awards ceremony taking place a four-minute walk from a huge, abandoned, extensively tagged billion-dollar development that had highly questionable ties to City Hall and ultimately failed.

Will this be LA's "Tower moment"? Only time will tell.

1101 Flower Street, DTLA.

Join the discussion!

C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. is a fourth-generation Angeleno and is horrified at what greed and hubris are doing to Los Angeles.

This website was built by her preservation pals at Esotouric.

Copyright © 2024 EMPTY LOS ANGELES. All rights reserved.
Powered by Vercel
Purchase Pro ↗