Up In The Air: The World’s Tallest Buildings

“Less is a Bore.” –Architect, Robert Venturi
A Bird’s Eye View: The Tallest Buildings in New York City

(“Lunch Atop a Skyscraper”, Originally printed in the New York Herald-Tribune on October 2, 1932–800 feet in the air, at what is now Rockefeller Center)
“[H]e could see the island of Manhattan off to the left. The towers were jammed together so tightly, he could feel the mass and stupendous weight. Just think of the millions, from all over the globe, who yearned to be on that island, in those towers, in those narrow streets! There it was, the Rome, the Paris, the London of the twentieth century, the city of ambition, the dense magnetic rock, the irresistible destination of all those who insist on being where things are happening-and he was among the victors!”
― Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities, 1987

(Vintage postcard depicting King Kong atop the Empire State Building)

    • The Empire State Building: New York isn’t called the Empire State for nothing! As of 2019, the Empire State Building was ranked as the 6th tallest in the city. Standing at 1,250 feet and complete with 102 floors, this Midtown marvel was completed in 1931 and is probably the most iconic building in all of New York City.

(The Chrysler Buildingat night)

  • The Chrysler Building: Known for its iconic beauty (some say, when lit up at night, it resembles a Christmas ornament), The Chrysler Building was built in 1930 and is 1,046 feet tall. The Manhattan skyline wouldn’t be the same without it.
  • The New York Times Tower: At 1,046 feet, this building is the pinnacle of journalism as a structure. It is home to the New York Times Company and newspaper, along with the International New York Times.
  • Three World Trade Center: Completed in 2018, this mighty building stands tall at 1,079 feet.
  • 30 Hudson Yards: The newest addition to the list of very tall buildings in New York City can be found in the trendy neighborhood of Hudson Yards. Completed in 2019, this building stands at 1,268 feet.

  • One World Trade Center: At 1,776 feet, this World Trade Center building is the tallest in New York City. Completed in 2014, it is located in the Financial District and is a symbol of hope for New Yorkers. We must never forget what happened involving the original Twin Towers (World Trade Center) on September 11th, 2001.

And the Rest of the World! The Tallest Buildings in the World Ranked!
“The city buildings in the distance are holding up the sky, it seems.”
― Markus Zusak, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, 2000

(Photo of Burj Khalifa courtesy of SOM)

  1. Burj Khalifa: The tallest building in the world! Completed in 2010, the Burj Khalifa—located in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, stands at a staggering height of 2,716 feet. It also has the highest observation deck in the world (talk about a bird’s eye view!) as well as the elevator with the longest travel distance. Imagine the view from the observation deck overlooking the city of Dubai! It truly is a modern-day architectural marvel.
  2. Shanghai Tower: The tallest building in China (and the second tallest in the world)! Completed in 2015, the Shanghai Tower is 2,073 feet tall.
    (Makkah Royal Clock Tower)
  3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower: At 1,972 feet, this magnificent clock tower is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and was completed in 2012.
  4. Ping An Finance Center: At nearly 2,000 feet (1,965 feet to be exact), this structure in Shenzhen, China, has 120 floors. Construction was completed in 2017.
  5. Lotte World Tower: Completed the same year as the Ping An Finance Center, the Lotte World Tower—located in Seoul, South Korea—is a staggering 1,819 feet tall.

For more information on the remarkable architecture mentioned in this blog, consult the websites cited below.

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