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Wilshire Grand Center
(Via Gary Leonard / Twitter)

In Seattle, we like to catch a glance of little old Smith Tower on the southern end of downtown and wow the less-informed with our knowledge that, at 484 feet, it was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

Progress, and egos, have accomplished a lot in the construction business in the 85 years since Smith Tower lost its distinction. The new tallest building west of the Mississippi is now the Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles.

A spire added to the top of the mixed-use hotel / office building / shopping center brought the height of the tower to 1,099 feet.

And because there are always people out there with more guts or less brains than me — or some combination of both — four construction workers posed for a photo atop the spire, looking like they’re not even tethered to the thing high above downtown L.A. The hardhats should help.

CBS Los Angeles and others shared the image, which was snapped by photographer Gary Leonard. If you’re into heights and construction, there’s also Facebook video of the spire being added.

Update: Los Angeles Downton News has lots of cool details about the addition of the 200,000-pound, 294-foot spire to the top of the $1.1 billion building. Apparently the photographer was in a basket suspended by a crane, and more of his photographs on the site show the harrowing work high above the street.

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