Ten Tallest Buildings in the United States

Updated June 30, 2014

The United States is home to some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers; eleven American buildings have held the title of tallest building in the world, and every titleholder from 1890 to 1998 was in the United States. The 10-story Home Insurance Building, built in Chicago in 1885, is regarded as the world’s first skyscraper; the building was constructed using a novel steel-loadbearing frame. As of 2012, only 4 of the 25 tallest buildings in the world are in the United States; before 1990, the U.S. had had all of the top ten tallest buildings.

1WTCAs of 2013, One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the United States and the fourth-tallest in the world to the tip of the spire, with a height of 1,776 feet. Prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, the twin towers of the World Trade Center occupied the second and third positions on the list below, when Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was the leader. The North Tower stood at 1,368 feet, while the South was 1,362 feet tall. They are the only buildings that would have qualified for the list but which are no longer standing. Chicago and New York have always been the centers of U.S. skyscraper building. The eight tallest buildings in the U.S. are either in New York or Chicago, and of the top twenty-five buildings, eight are in Chicago and eight are in New York.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) declared One World Trade Center the tallest building in the United States in November 2013, including its spire in the final calculation. Some argue that the height to the roof top should be the true measurement. If that were the case, Willis Tower would still be the tallest at 1,451′ compared to One World Trade center’s 1,368′.

The Chicago Spire which was under construction in Chicago, would have been the tallest building in the United States, rising 2,000 ft into the sky. The project was halted several years ago but the developer has recently announced that he is trying to move the project forward. Other tall buildings that are under construction include the Wilshire Grand Tower in Los Angeles (1,100′), 432 Park Avenue in New York City (1,397′), Salesforce Tower in San Francisco’s Transbay development (1,070′), One57 in New York City (1,005′), and Panorama Tower (831′) in Miami, Florida.

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List of Tallest Buildings in the U.S.:

1. One World Trade Center
City: New York City
Height: 1,776′
Floors: 104
Year Completed: 2013

One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, according to the CTBUH. The 104-story supertall structure, which shares a name with the northern Twin Tower in the original World Trade Center that was destroyed in the September 11 attacks, stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre World Trade Center site, on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center. On May 10, 2013, the final component of the skyscraper’s spire was installed, making it the fourth-tallest skyscraper in the world at the time by pinnacle height. Its spire allows the building to reach a symbolic height of 1,776 feet in reference to the year of the United States Declaration of Independence.

2. Willis Tower

City: Chicago
Height: 1,451′
Floors: 110
Year Completed: 1974

Formerly known, and still commonly referred to, as the Sears Tower; 11th-tallest building in the world; has been the tallest building in Chicago and was the tallest in the U.S. since 1973, until overtaken by One World Trade Center last year. Willis Tower is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago, and over one million people visit its observation deck each year.

3. Trump International Hotel and Towertallest buildings in the u.s
City: Chicago
Height: 1,389′
Floors: 92
Year Completed: 2009

14th-tallest building in the world; once planned to be the tallest in the world prior to World Trade Center attacks. The design of the building includes, from the ground up, retail space, a parking garage, a hotel, and condominiums. The building topped out in late 2008 and construction was completed in 2009. The hotel is one of four in Chicago with an elite four- or five-star rating and the building hosts a restaurant that is one of nine in Chicago with either a four- or five-star rating, according to the Forbes Travel Guide.

4. Empire State Buildingtallest buildings in the u.s

City: New York City
Height: 1,250′
Floors: 102
Year Completed: 1931

23rd-tallest building in the world, tallest building in New York City; tallest building in the world from 1931 until 1972; first building in the world to contain over 100 floors; tallest building built in the U.S. and the world in the 1930s. The building is owned by the recently formed Empire State Realty Trust. The Empire State Building recently completed a $550 million renovation, with $120 million spent in an effort to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure.

5. Bank of America Towertallest buildings in the u.s

City: New York City
Height: 1,200′
Floors: 154
Year Completed: 2009

3rd-tallest building in New York City and the 28th-tallest building in the world. The $1 billion project was designed by COOKFOX Architects, to be one of the most efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in the world. Construction was completed in 2009. In June 2010, the Bank of America Tower was the recipient of the 2010 Best Tall Building Americas award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

6. Aon Centertallest buildings in the u.s

City: Chicago
Height: 1,136′
Floors: 83
Year Completed: 1973

35th-tallest building in the world. Designed by architect firms Edward Durell Stone and The Perkins and Will partnership, the building was completed in 1974 as the Standard Oil Building. When completed, it was the world’s tallest marble-clad building, being sheathed entirely with 43,000 slabs of Italian Carrara marble.

7. John Hancock Centertallest buildings in the u.s

City: Chicago
Height: 1,127′
Floors: 100
Year Completed: 1969

38th-tallest building in the world; first trussed-tube building in the world; contains some of the highest residential units in the world; tallest building built in the U.S. in the 1960s. The building is home to offices and restaurants, as well as about 700 condominiums. The skyscraper’s distinctive X-bracing exterior is one of the architectural techniques which the architects used to achieve a record height (the tubular system is the structure that keeps the building upright during wind and earthquake loads). This X-bracing allows for both higher performance from tall structures and the ability to open up the inside floorplan.

8. Chrysler Buildingtallest buildings in the u.s

City: New York City
Height: 1,046′
Floors: 77
Year Completed: 1930

59th-tallest building in the world; tallest man-made structure in the world from 1930 until 1931, surpassing the Eiffel Tower; First building to be more than 1,000 feet tall; tallest brick building in the world. The Chrysler Building is considered a leading example of Art Deco architecture. The corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles; on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps. The building is constructed of masonry, with a steel frame, and metal cladding. In total, the building currently contains 3,862 windows on its facade and 4 banks of 8 elevators designed by the Otis Elevator Corporation. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

9. New York Times Buildingtallest buildings in the u.s

City: New York City
Height: 1,046′
Floors: 52
Year Completed: 2007

60th-tallest building in the world, its record is tied with the Chrysler Building. The design incorporates many features for increased energy efficiency. The curtain wall, fully glazed with low-e glass, maximizes natural light within the building while the ceramic-rod screen helps block direct sunlight and reduce cooling loads. Mechanized shades controlled by sensors reduce glare, while more than 18,000 individually dimmable fluorescent fixtures supplement natural light, providing a real energy savings of 30 percent.

10. Bank of America Plazatallest buildings in the u.s

City: Atlanta
Height: 1,023′
Floors: 55
Year Completed: 1992

62nd-tallest building in the world; tallest building in Atlanta and the Southern United States; tallest building located in a state capital; tallest building in the U.S. outside of New York and Chicago; tallest building built in the U.S. in the 1990s. The skyscraper, built at a 45-degree angle to the city’s street grid, is set back off its eastern and western street boundaries, Peachtree Street and West Peachtree Street, by over 50 yards. This setback is filled, variously, by driveways, parking garage entrances, potted plants, granite staircases, and sloping lawns.

11. U.S. Bank Towertallest buildings in the u.s

City: Los Angeles
Height: 1,018′
Floors: 73
Year Completed: 1989

Recently dropping out of the list, U.S. Bank Tower is the 64th-tallest building in the world; tallest building in Los Angeles; tallest building in California; tallest building west of the Mississippi River and on the U.S. West Coast; tallest building in the world with a helipad on the roof. The building is also known as Library Tower because it was built as part of the $1 billion Los Angeles Central Library redevelopment area following two disastrous fires in 1986, and its location across the street. The City of Los Angeles sold air rights to the developers of the tower to help pay for the reconstruction of the library. When completed in 2017, Wilshire Grand Tower (1,100′) will surpass U.S. Bank Tower.

Source: Wikipedia