3 Tallest Buildings in the United States
The 3 Tallest Buildings in the United States
Although, there are quite a few proposed and under construction buildings that are even higher than these skyscrapers, we can only say that they are "close but no cigar." Of course, upon completion, the rating would change. Until the attack of September 11, the World Trade Center's twin towers were listed at second and third place. The new building, Freedom Tower, to be constructed on the twin tower location, was meant to become the tallest building in the United States at 2010 feet. However, the Chicago Spire is scheduled to be built a towering 2011 feet.
This list of "tallest buildings in the U.S." are measured from ground level to the tallest spires and architectural details. Included are completed buildings and those that are already topped out, but may still have continuing construction.
Number 1: Sears Tower (Willis Tower)
The Sears Tower (Willis Tower), at 233 South Wacker Drive in Chicago, has been the tallest building in the U.S. Since 1974 at 1,451 feet. It is also known as the fifth tallest building in the world with sixteen double decker elevators. Architecture, Bruce Graham and structural engineer, Fazlur Khan were commissioned by Sears, Roebuck and company to build the tower witn construction beginning in August of 1970. The black bands that appear, at intervals, around the building are louvers, frames with slats, to cover belt trusses.
Back in 1969 when Sears, Roebuck and Company were the biggest retail establishment in the world, with visions of a huge future growth, they decided to bring many of their Chicago employees into one location and so commissioned the building. Their views of future growth
were somewhat stifled by their rivals, Montgomery Wards, Kmart, Kohl's and Walmart causing a downturn in market shares during the 1970s. Between 1993 and 1995 Sears vacated the building and sold it. Although, the Sears Tower has been sold several times, it has kept the rights to the building name. Today, the Sears Tower houses more than 100 different tenants including financial service firms, law firms and insurance companies.
There are actually nine square tubes or buildings compiled into one which gives a different appearance from all angles. It was built specifically in this manner to withstand the strong Chicago wind load. One of the best known attractions of Chicago, the Skydeck, is located on the 103rd floor with a second one on the 99th floor of the 108 floor tower. Visitors can feel the building sway on a windy day.
One of the biggest news story to be attached to the Sears Tower was the 1999 climb by Alain "Spiderman" Robert. With no prior warning, the Frenchman scaled the building in his bare hands and feet, making it past the fog ridden slippery steel and glass of the last twenty floors. He climbed victoriously to the top.
Number 2: Empire State Building
At a 102 floors, the Empire State Building was the first building to be built with over 100 floors. The art deco building sits at a stately 1,250 feet at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street in New York City. It lost it's title of the tallest building in New York after the twin towers of the World Trade Center were built and once again took the title after their demise. Given it's name from the states nickname, it was also called one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It also holds the title of designated landmark by New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Owned and managed by W&H Properties, it is considered America's number one favorite architecture.
The construction of the building began on St. Patrick's day, 1930, designed by Gregory Johnson. The majority of the 3400 workers were European immigrants also with Mohawk Iron workers from Montreal. At the time two other buildings were competing for the title of tallest building in the world, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building. They each reached that goal for less than a year as the Empire State Building surpassed both when it was completed. Soon after the building's opening it was dubbed "Empty State Building" as many of it's spaces were left empty, not rented, during the depression.
Floodlights were affixed to the top of the building in 1964, making it impossible for New Yorkers or tourists to miss the magnificent structure. The light colors are changed according to seasonal holidays, sports team home games and other special events. After Frank Sinatra's death the top of the building was aglow in blue for "Ol Blue Eyes." After Fay Wray's death, actress from the movie King Kong, it stood in darkness for a full fifteen minutes. And it mourned the event of 9-11 with illumination of red, white and blue for several months.
In 1945 the National Catholic Welfare Council had a huge shock as a B-25 Mitchel Bomber crashed through their offices on the north side of the 79th and 80th floor. Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., through thick fog, accidentally ran into the building killing fourteen people and starting a fire that was extinguished in forty minutes. The fourteen people who have committed suicide off the top of the building is an additional tragedy associated with the Empire State building.
The observation deck is the most popular observatory of the world, visited by over 110 million people. The "Run Up" a race from the ground to the 86th floor has been held every year since 1978, covering a distance of 1,050 feet with the best time of 9 minutes, 33 seconds by Australian, Paul Crakes.
The Empire State Building is further notarized by the movies King Kong, (2) An Affair to Remember, Independence Day, Andy Warhol's silent film Empire and Doctor Who serial The Chase.
Number 3: Bank of America Tower
Rated as the thirteenth tallest building in the world, located at 6th Avenue and West 42nd Street, although some construction is continuing, it stands topped out at 1,200 feet. The architectural spire is 1200 feet, alone. In December 2007, when the spire was placed, the tower became the second tallest building of New York, the Empire State Building being first. The structure was designed to be environmentally friendly with floor-to-ceiling insulated glass to get the best of natural light and contain heat. It incorporates a greywater system, recycling rainwater and they have made the structure with recycled and recyclable materials where ever possible.
The tower is constructed with 45% slag, a blast furnace by-product, and 55% cement. This reduces the amount of greenhouse gas regular cement produces. The cooling system will produce ice, using it later to cool the building. It has waterless urinals which will save 8 million gallons of water a year. It is set up to make 70% of it's own needed energy.
You may remember from the news, October 17, 2007, about a crane that dropped a construction container hurting eight people and causing damage to the building. This building is a good example to future builders that they will produce similar structures which benefit both humans and earth.
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