The September issue of Los Angeles Magazine devoted some serious ink to our city’s ever-growing skyline, urging us that it’s time to get familiar with the projects destined to impact how we view our city. For Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Santa Monica, building plans have either started or are in the works, each of them aiming to grow upwards—not outwards—across their respective districts. But how high is too high? Here’s a closer look at the three neighborhoods highlighted in the magazine along with the skyscrapers aspiring to transform them:

Downtown LA:  The Wilshire Grand Tower (above, on left), designed by AC Martin for the Korean shipping corporation Hanin Group, is being built on the site of the demolished Wilshire Grand Hotel. With its spire, the project will top out at 1,100 feet, knocking the 1,018-foot U.S. Bank Tower out of its “tallest building west of the Mississippi” claim to fame. Interesting fact: the building has been exempted from a 1974 municipal code that requires emergency helipads atop all skyscrapers, so the peak will be a mohawk instead of a flat top.

Hollywood:  Despite the controversy surrounding Hollywood’s expansion of vertical proportions, three new projects will rise at least 22 stories (matching the Sunset Vine and House of Blues buildings): the under-construction Sunset Gordon project, Columbia Square’s tower planned for the old CBS Studios site, and a double-tower combo in the Hollywood Palladium parking lots. In addition, the Millennium Hollywood will feature residential towers of 39 and 35 stories each (reduced 25 percent from the original plans) near the Capitol Records building.

Santa Monica:  Amidst heated debate regarding the city’s Downtown Specific Plan, three hotels are still hoping to soar above the beachfront community. Included is the Fairmont Miramar, which wants to add a 21-story tower as part of a renovation. Across the street from Santa Monica Place, the Wyndham wants to add three towers, including one that reaches 15 stories. Lastly, the world-class hotel-condo and museum campus known as a the Ocean Avenue Project (above, on right)could exceed them all with an impressive complex featuring a public rooftop deck. The 22-story undulating white facade is being designed by none other than local resident/Starchitect Frank Gehry.

Full story here.