After just having covered the tallest skyscrapers until the Chrysler Building in 1931, spanning 11 behemoths over 47 years, the following post will be covering everything from the Empire State Building until today, spanning 86 years There have only been 6 tallest buildings in the world during that time frame. They are, however, some of the most famous buildings in history. Whether you live in one of the cities these buildings are located in, or seen them in your favorite TV show or movie, these architectural wonders have definitely made their presence felt.

Empire State Building

1931-1972 Empire State Building: Being the first building in history to surpass 100 stories (102 stories) is an enormous feat in it of itself, however, that’s not the only notable fact about this New York skyscraper. The Empire State Building is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and held the world’s tallest building record record for nearly 40 years. It currently stands as the 32nd tallest building in the world and is the 5th tallest building in the United States. It stands at 1,454 feet or 443 meters. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the AIA’s list of “America’s Favorite Architecture.” You can see the Empire State Building in movies and TV such as King Kong, The Time Machine, Enchanted, Superman II, Independence Day, Fringe, How I Met Your Mother, and many more.

World Trade Center - By Jeffmock - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2188597

1972-1974 World Trade Center: The World Trade Center became the world’s tallest building in 1972. It was tragically destroyed in the infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The World Trade Center was so big that it had its own zipcode. It was generally visited altogether by about 250,000 people per day. It was and will always be remembered as an icon, on the same level as the Empire State Building. It has been seen in an incredible number of films and TV shows including American Pie 2, Armageddon, Back to the Future II, City Slickers, Ghostbusters, The Godfather Part III, Friends, Fringe, The Simpsons, Full House, Rescue Me, NYPD Blue, and much, much more.

Sears Tower

1974-1998 Sears Tower: Officially Willis Tower, but commonly referred to as Sears Tower, this Chicago skyscraper held the world’s tallest building title for almost 25 years. It stands at 1,450 feet or 442 meters and is currently the 15th tallest building in the world and the second tallest in the United States, behind One World Trade Center. It can be seen in major films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Divergent, I, Robot, and TV shows such as Monk, Kenan and Kel, and Stargate SG-1.

Petronas Towers

1998-2003 Petronas Towers: Also, known as the Petronas Twin Towers, the Petronas Towers are the first skyscrapers outside of the United States to be the world’s tallest. They are located in Malaysia, and are currently the tallest twin towers in the world. They stand at 1483 feet or 452 meters tall, barely eclipsing the Sears Tower. On the 41st and 42nd floors, there is a double decker skybridge that connects the two towers. It is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. These towers are prominently featured in the movie Entrapment, the TV show 24, and the video game Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.

Taipei 101

2003-2010 Taipei 101: Formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world until 2010. It is 101 stories (as its name suggests), and stands at 1671 feet (the first building to surpass 1500 feet) and 509.2 meters (the first building to surpass 500 meters). It is located in Taiwan.

Burj Khalifa

2010- Burj Khalifa: There is an entire blog post you can see about the current tallest building in the world, which is located in Dubai. Check it out HERE.

In a future blog post, we will be covering what you can expect from the future tallest buildings in the world. Just recently it was announced that a skyscraper taller than the Burj Khalifa will be built in Dubai. How many of these tallest buildings have you visited? Sound off in the comments below.


Barak Bacharach, SkySaver Content Manager