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Glass Slide Outside the 70th Floor!

A machine that makes the land pay.” That’s how architect and Manhattanite Cass Gilbert defined the skyscraper in 1900, when the building type was — ahem — just getting off the ground.

But the machine doesn’t pay like it used to, at least not when it comes to commercial skyscrapers that hold office suites instead of apartments or condos.

That’s one reason I found myself climbing onto a thin gray carpet Wednesday morning and careening down a steel-and-glass slide that has been attached — like a transparent worm, a see-through appendage — to the exterior of the tallest building in Los Angeles, the 1,018-foot-high U.S. Bank Tower.

 After a trip that began on the 70th floor and spit me out rather unceremoniously onto a terrace on the 69th, it became clear why Singapore-based OUE Ltd., which bought the tower in 2013, expects a steady stream of visitors willing to shell out $27-$33 to experience the slide and adjacent observation deck.



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