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Why does LA have so few skyscrapers compared to other smaller cities?

I just thought it was interesting. L.A. has such a small skyline even though it is the second largest and one of the most important in the country. Unfortunately some people will judge a city based on its skyline and this is why some people think LA is boring. I love the city but admittedly I think the skyline is only interesting because of the mountains. I know they are building some new high rises, but is there a reason for the small skyline? I know the city doesn't need so many skyscrapers to be great and blah blah, so save the lecture. I just think it's interesting.


Denise, that's true, but if that's the case why do cities like San Francisco and even San Diego have better skylines? Was it just an LA law? About the judging its skyline thing, I saw a person on YouTube in the comments talk about other cities being better based on their skylines. She/he also implied that it must be boring.

6 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    2 reasons: Yes, it's about earthquake codes. San Diego is not on the San Andreas fault like LA is.

    And the main reason is urban sprawl. LA built OUT, not up. Look at the geography. SF had nowhere to go but up. It was MUCH cheaper in LA to just keep spreading out. Most residences have only a single story. It wasn't until the 70's that LA started building upwards. in the downtown area.

    And nobody here gives a rat's patootie about the skyline. Who the h3ll likes a city based on the skyline? Here, it's all about the weather, the beaches, the entertainment. We got it all. Don't need any skyline.

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  • 4 years ago

    La Skyscrapers

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  • 8 years ago

    The reason is that Los Angeles has multiple business centers not a single main one like most cities.

    You have Downtown, Century City, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Long Beach

    But I disagree with San Diego being better than downtown LA. San Diego's skyline is old and about the size of Long Beach's downtown. Probably less than 1/3 the siza of downtown.

    Source(s): I live in Long Beach, work in Downtown and stay in San Diego.
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  • 6 years ago

    Earthquake paranoia I guess. But I do agree that a city's skyline is what defines it. You would think L.A. as big as it is should have a bigger and longer skyline. Especially in Hollywood, since L.A. is famous for Hollywood and the movies it produces. I'll never get how some people prefer to look at rows and rows of boring bushes and trees instead of intresting-looking, tall, shiny, gleamy, beautiful skyscrapers.

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  • 6 years ago

    If you ever see cities like San Francisco, it's really expensive to build an earthquake proof skyscraper. Same thing with LA. Second of all, if you look at LA's growth history, many headquarters and factories are scattered around but are mostly in the downtown area. Like the 20th century fox headquarters is somewhere else in LA, not their downtown.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I don’t find it unfortunate nor do I know a single person would be stupid enough to judge a city based on its skyline. That is not logical. I have heard a lot people say things about LA and boring was not ever one of them.

    Anyway, to answer your question our building codes prohibited tall buildings for many years due to the earthquakes we get.

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