America’s 10 Tallest Buildings

Featured Article, History, Made in America, On the Road, Traditions
on July 24, 2012
Illinois Office of Tourism Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper and home to four of America’s tallest buildings, including the Willis (Sears) Tower, the nation’s tallest building.

1. Willis Tower (Sears Tower), Chicago, 1,451 feet
2. Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, 1,389 feet
3. Empire State Building, New York, 1,250 feet*
4. Bank of America Tower, New York, 1,200 feet
5. Aon Center, Chicago, 1,136 feet
6. John Hancock Center, Chicago, 1,127 feet
7. Chrysler Building, New York, 1,046 feet (tie)
7. New York Times Building, New York, 1,046 feet (tie)
9. Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta, 1,023 feet
10. U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles, 1,018 feet

Chicago became the birthplace of the skyscraper in 1885 when the 10-story, 138-foot Home Insurance Building’s steel frame revolutionized high-rise construction. The building was demolished in 1931.

Today, Chicago remains the home of America’s tallest completed skyscraper. Chicago and New York City have eight of the nation’s 10 tallest completed buildings.
* The lineup will change by 2014 when workers are scheduled to complete the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center on the former World Trade Center site in New York City. Because the new tower’s planned height includes a 408-foot needle sitting on its 1,368-foot rooftop, bragging rights as the nation’s tallest building will carry an asterisk. With the needle, One World Trade Center surpasses the Willis Tower in Chicago to become the nation’s tallest building. Without the needle, it becomes the tallest building in New York—but not in the nation.