World's Tallest Buildings

Oct. 8, 2001

Chicago became home to the world's tallest building in 1973 when the Sears Tower was topped off. The Sears Tower remained the tallest building in the world until February 13, 1996. The Sears Tower continues to be the tallest building in North America.

On July 10, 1997, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat met in Chicago to announce new standards with four categories for measuring tall buildings. These categories are:

Height to the structural or architectural top.
Height to the highest occupied floor.
Height to the top of the roof.
Height to the top of antenna.

The Sears Tower leads in the second and third categories. The height to the top of the roof is 1,450 feet and the height to the highest occupied floor is 1,431. The twin Petronas Towers in Malaysia win the first category with its 111-foot decorative spires..

Sitting on two city blocks and rising one quarter mile (1,454 feet) above the ground, the Tower's 110 stories comprise some 4.5 million gross square feet of office and commercial space. It was designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and was constructed in a little less than two and half years.

RankNameCityCountryFeetMetresStories1Petronas Tower 1Kuala LumpurMalaysia1483452882Petronas Tower 2Kuala LumpurMalaysia1483452883Sears TowerChicagoUSA14504421104Jin Mao TowerShanghaiChina1380421885Citic Plaza GuangzhouChina1,283391806Shun Hing SquareShenzhenChina1,260384697Empire State BuildingNew YorkUSA12503811028Central PlazaHong KongChina1227374789Bank Of ChinaHong KongChina12093697010The CenterHong KongChina11483507911T & C TowerKaohsiungTaiwan11403488512Aon CenterChicagoUSA11363468013John Hancock CenterChicagoUSA112734410014Burj al Arab HotelDubaiUAE1,0533216015Baiyoke Tower IIBangkokThailand105032090NOTE: Height is measured from sidewalk level of main entrance to structural top of building. Antennas and flag poles are not included**The twin World Trade Center towers, New York, 110 stories, 1368 feet, ranked 5 and 6 prior to their destruction by terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, 10 July 1997, p32.

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