10 Tallest Buildings in the USA

Petr Novák

The USA is known for its sprawling cities dominated by towering skyscrapers. These giants reach hundreds of meters into the sky, forming a distinctive landmark of their respective regions. Despite their impressive stature, they fall short when compared to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Among the ten tallest buildings in the USA, eight are situated in New York and the remaining two in Chicago.

One World Trade Center | © Unsplash.com

  1. Table of Contents
    1. One World Trade Center
    2. Central Park Tower
    3. Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower)
    4. 111 West 57th Street (Steinway Tower)
    5. One Vanderbilt
    6. 432 Park Avenue
    7. Trump International Hotel and Tower
    8. 30 Hudson Yards
    9. Empire State Building
    10. Bank of America Tower

    One World Trade Center

    • Location: 285 Fulton Street, Manhattan, New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,791 ft to the tip, architectural height 1,776 ft
    • Opened: 2014

    Currently standing as the tallest building in the USA, it was constructed on the site where the Twin Towers collapsed due to terrorist attacks in 2001. Its architectural height of 1,776 ft holds symbolic value. When converted into imperial units, it measures 1,776 feet, corresponding to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. Construction began on April 27, 2006, and took eight years to complete.

    One World Trade Center primarily functions as an office building and also includes an observation deck on the 102nd floor for visitors. The unique design of the building, also known as 1WTC or Freedom Tower, is credited to Polish architect Daniel Libeskind.

  2. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | copy; Unsplash.com

    Central Park Tower

    • Location: 225 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,550 ft
    • Opened: 2020

    Central Park Tower is a residential building and stands as the tallest of its kind in the world. Despite housing 98 floors, the highest one is labeled 136. Residents of the building enjoy access to a private sauna, steam room, swimming pool, cinema, conference rooms, and a private club.

    The first five floors of the Central Park Tower are occupied by a Nordstrom department store. You might also come across the building’s other name, Nordstrom Tower.

  3. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | copy; Unsplash.com

    Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower)

    • Location: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,451 ft
    • Opened: 1973

    The Willis Tower, holding the title of Chicago’s tallest skyscraper, was also the world’s tallest building for a staggering 25 years. It was initially named Sears Tower after its primary tenant, the owner of Sears and Kmart stores. The building was renamed Willis Tower in 2009 when the Willis Group leased the premises.

    The uniquely angular building features an observation deck providing a remarkable view of the surrounding area. For the brave, there are four glass boxes known as The Ledge where one can lie down. The exterior walls and floor are composed of 3.80 cm thick glass, underneath which is a sheer drop of 1,352 ft. It is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago.

    The Willis Tower mainly serves as an office building, with 20 of the 108 floors occupied by United Airlines.

  4. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | © Nicolas Lh. / Flickr.com

    111 West 57th Street (Steinway Tower)

    • Location: 111 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,427 ft
    • Opened: 2021

    The rather plainly named 111 West 57th Street holds the record for being the world’s slimmest skyscraper with a height-to-width ratio of approximately 1:24. It also ranks among the world’s tallest buildings at 1,427 ft.

    The skyscraper, also referred to as Steinway Tower, is mainly used for residential purposes and is situated in the affluent neighborhood known as Billionaires’ Row. The site was once the showroom for piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons in the mid-nineteenth century. The entrance hall of the new skyscraper pays homage to its historical significance.

  5. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | © Anthony Quintano / Flickr.com

    One Vanderbilt

    • Location: 1 Vanderbilt Ave, New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,302 ft (building), 1,401 ft (tip)
    • Opened: 2020

    One Vanderbilt, a 93-story skyscraper, opened in 2020 in the heart of Manhattan. The architectural height of the building is 1,302 ft, and including the tip, it reaches 1,401 ft. The design and materials chosen for the building were intentionally selected to blend harmoniously with the neighboring Grand Central Terminal.

    Primarily an office building, One Vanderbilt also features the Summit One Vanderbilt observation deck above the 73rd floor. A notable aspect is the high-speed elevators that transport visitors from the ground floor to 1,017 ft in less than a minute.

  6. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | © Anthony Quintano / Flickr.com

    432 Park Avenue

    • Location: 432 Park Ave, New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,396 ft
    • Opened: 2015

    This skyscraper stands in Manhattan, where the Drake Hotel once existed. The name of the tower simply refers to its address. Until recently, it was the tallest residential building in the northern hemisphere, completed in 2015 at a cost of $1.25 billion.

    A two-story apartment at one of its upper levels is among the most luxurious residences in New York. Its sale price was $95,000,000.

  7. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | © Ron Cogswell

    Trump International Hotel and Tower

    • Location: 401 N Wabash Ave, Chicago (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,388 ft
    • Opened: 2009

    As Chicago’s second tallest skyscraper, this tower houses both offices and apartments. The roof of the building stands at 1,171 ft, with its spire reaching a total height of 1,388 ft. The highest floor is numbered 98.

    If you ever find yourself in Chicago, consider staying at the Trump International Hotel and Tower. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a prime location on the Chicago River, you can enjoy magnificent views of the entire city.

  8. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | © Elvert Barnes / Flickr.com

    30 Hudson Yards

    • Location: 30 Hudson Yards, New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,296 ft
    • Opened: 2019

    Located on the west side of Manhattan near Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, and Penn Station, 30 Hudson Yards stands tall. This 1,296 ft office building, which opened in 2019, houses offices for several companies, including Facebook. CNN also broadcasts from this building.

    Visitors to the building can enjoy views of the surrounding area from a platform on the 100th floor.

  9. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | © Unsplash.com

    Empire State Building

    • Location: 20 W 34th St., New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,454 ft (including tip), 1,250 ft (architectural height)
    • Opened: 1931

    The Empire State Building may not be the tallest, but it is undoubtedly one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the USA. A symbol of New York since 1931, many immigrants were employed in its construction.

    The Empire State Building is primarily an office building, but it features observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, offering spectacular views of New York. The ESB is a must-see landmark in New York City’s nighttime skyline, its colors changing for different occasions.

  10. 10 Tallest Buildings in the USA | © Nfrastructure

    Bank of America Tower

    • Location: Sixth Avenue & 42nd Street, Manhattan, New York (Show on Map)
    • Height: 1,201 ft (including tip), 945 ft (architectural height)
    • Opened: 2009

    At the time of its completion, the skyscraper at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street was hailed as a model of an environmentally friendly building. The concrete used in the construction consists of 55% cement and 45% slag.

    The Bank of America Tower functions solely as an office building, without any observation decks for tourists. It comprises a total of 55 floors.

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