10 tallest buildings in the United States

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The official list of tallest buildings in the United States includes One World Trade Center, Central Park Tower, Willis Tower, 111 West 57th Street, and One Vanderbilt Place, among others.

This list is based on data provided by Emporis, a public building information database.

1. A global trade center

Located in Lower Manhattan, New York, One World Trade Center tops the list of tallest buildings in the United States. The skyscraper, which was completed in 2014, is the main structure of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex that was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

A WC, New York City – 104 (floors); Altitude: 541 m (1,776 ft) 2014. PHOTO | COURTESY

One World Trade Center became the tallest building in the United States in May 2013 when the last element of its spire was installed, pushing the building’s overall height to 1,776 feet (541 m).

The height in feet marks the year of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.

One World Trade Center was designed by David Childs and developed by the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey. The other designers were Hill International and the Louis Berger Group. WSP Cantor Seinuk was the structural engineer for the project, while Tishman Construction was the prime contractor.

The project was completed at a cost of $3.9 billion.

2. Central Park Tower

Also known as Nordstrom Tower, Central Park Tower is the second tallest building in the United States and the tallest residential building in the world.

The supertall building, located at 225 West 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, was completed in September 2019 with a final completion date of 2021.

Central Park Tower, New York – 95 (floors); Height: 472 m (1,550 ft) 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY

It houses 179 residences spread from the 32nd floor upwards, with the largest apartments having eight bedrooms occupying over 1,626 square meters of floor space.

Central Park Tower was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and jointly developed by Extell and Shanghai Municipal Investment Group.

WSP Global was the structural engineer for the project, while Lendlease was the prime contractor.

The project was completed at a cost of $3 billion.

3. Willis Tower

Located at 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is a towering office building that was once the tallest structure in the world for more than two decades.

In fact, upon its completion in 1974, the Willis Tower beat the World Trade Center in New York to become the tallest building in the world until 1998, when it was overtaken by the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia.

Willis Tower, Chicago – 108 (floors); Height: 442 m (1,451 ft); 1974. PICTURE | COURTESY

It remained the tallest building in the United States for 41 years, however, until 2013 when it was overtaken by One World Trade Center.

The Willis Tower is famous for housing the Skydeck, the tallest observation deck in the United States. Located on the 103rd floor at a height of 1,353 feet (412.4 m), Skydeck is visited by more than one million people each year, making it one of Chicago’s most popular attractions.

4. 111 West 57th Street

Also known as Steinway Tower, 111 West 57th Street is a towering residential building that towers over Manhattan’s Billionaire’s Quarter on the north side of 57th Street near Sixth Avenue.

Designed to be the world’s tallest skyscraper, 111 West 57th Street, slated for completion in 2021, is a colorful addition to New York’s already stunning skyline.

111 West 57th Street, New York – 84 (floors); Altitude: 435 m (1,428 ft) 2021. PHOTO | COURTESY

The skyscraper is built on a 60 foot wide base which makes it the thinnest tower in the world.

111 West 57th Street, which peaked in April 2019, was designed by SHoP Architects and built by JDS Development, Property Markets Group and Spruce Capital.

The project is estimated at $2 billion.

5. A Vanderbilt Place

One Vanderbilt Place, fifth in the list of tallest buildings in the United States, is a super-tall office tower located at the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

Construction of the building, which is owned by SL Green Realty Corp., began on February 14, 2017, and the building was completed two months ahead of schedule on September 17, 2019.

432 Park Avenue
432 Park Avenue, New York – 85 (floors); Height: 426 m (1,397 ft); 2015. PICTURES | COURTESY

Measuring 1.7 million square feet, One Vanderbilt is the second tallest office building in Manhattan, the largest office market in the United States. It was officially inaugurated in September 2020.

A Vanderbilt was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. Severud Associates was the structural engineer for the project, while Tishman Construction was the prime contractor.

The project was completed at a cost of $3.31 billion.

6. 432 Park Avenue

Located at 57th Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, 432 Park Avenue is a towering residential skyscraper that features 125 condominiums and private restaurants for residents.

Upon its completion in 2015, 432 Park Avenue became the tallest residential building in the world and the third tallest building in the United States.

432 Park Avenue, New York
432 Park Avenue, New York – 85 (floors); Height: 426 m (1,397 ft); 2015. PICTURES | COURTESY

The accolades were lost quickly, and as of 2021, the skyscraper is the third-tallest residential building in the world and the sixth-tallest building in the United States.

432 Park Avenue, which overlooks Central Park, was designed by Rafael Viñoly and developed by CIM Group and Harry B. Macklowe. SLCE Architects was the official architect.

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WSP Cantor Seinuk was the structural engineer for the project, while Deborah Berke and the firm Bentel & Bentel designed the interiors of 432 Park Avenue.

The project was completed at a cost of $1.25 billion.

7. Trump International Hotel and Tower

The Trump International Hotel & Tower, a very tall condo hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois, is currently the seventh tallest building in the United States, reaching a height of 1,388 feet including its sphere.

Originally planned to be the tallest building in the world, the owner – Donald Trump – scaled back the plans after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Trump Tower, Chicago – 98 (floors); Altitude: 423 m (1,388 ft); 2009. PHOTO | COURTESY

Upon its completion in 2009, the Trump International Hotel & Tower became the second tallest building in the United States after the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower).

According to its website, the skyscraper – which was designed by architect Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill – inspired the construction of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

8. 30 yards from Hudson

Also known as the North Tower, 30 Hudson Yards is a tall office building located at the intersection of 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, near Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, and the Penn Station neighborhood.

The building, which opened on March 15, 2019 after nearly five years of construction, is designed according to LEED Gold and was originally planned to be 480m tall before the structure was shortened to 387m.

30 Hudson Yards, New York – 73 (floors); Height: 387 m (1,270 ft); 2019. PICTURES | COURTESY

On the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards is “The Edge,” a 1,131-foot observation deck said to be the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Editor’s Note: Willis Tower and One World Trade Center have taller observation decks at 1,354 feet and 1,268 feet respectively. However, both facilities are closed.

30 Hudson Yards was designed by renowned architect Bill Pedersen and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, with related companies and Oxford Properties Group as co-developers.

9. The Empire State Building

Soaring 1,250 feet on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, the Empire State Building became the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1931. It held that title for nearly 40 years. .

The building, which is called ‘Empire State’ after New York State’s nickname, remained the tallest building in the world until 1970, when it was overtaken by the World Trade Center.

Empire State Building, New York – 102 (floors); Height: 381 m (1,250 ft); 1931. PICTURE | COURTESY

In 2010, the Empire State Building was renovated to make it more energy efficient. A year later, it became the tallest LEED-certified building in America.

The building was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon and developed by Empire State Inc., including John J. Raskob and Al Smith. Homer Gage Balcom was the structural engineer for the project, with Starrett Brothers and Eken as the main contractor.

It was completed at a cost of $40.9 million ($564 million in today’s money).

10. Bank of America Tower

Located at One Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, the Bank of America Tower is a towering office tower considered one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly buildings in the world.

Designed by COOKFOX Architects & Adamson Associates Architects, the Bank of America Tower, which was completed in 2009, was constructed of concrete made with slag, a byproduct of blast furnaces.

Bank of America Tower, NYC – 54 (floors); Height: 366 m (1,200 ft); 2009. PHOTO | COURTESY

Using slag reduces the amount of concrete needed for a building, which subsequently reduces the amount of carbon emissions released during cement production.

Bank of America Tower is LEED Platinum certified for being one of the most environmentally friendly high-rise office buildings on the planet. The building was completed at a cost of $1 billion.

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