Reaching New Heights: The 10 Tallest Office Buildings In The U.S.
Skyscrapers have long been the defining pieces of city skylines, securing positions in history as memorable landmarks recognized by tourists and residents around the world.
As technology continues to improve, developers and architects are aiming even higher. In the U.S., a select group of iconic skyscrapers stands out above the rest, JLL reports. These are the 10 tallest office buildings in the country:
10. Chrysler Building
Location: New York City
Height: 1,046 feet
Designed by architect William Van Alen, the 77-story Chrysler Building was completed in May 1930. Decorated with ornate gargoyles, the Art Deco building became an iconic structure and even carried the title of "World's Tallest Building" for nearly a year after it was developed, before losing the title to the Empire State Building in 1931.
According to The New York Times, the Chrysler Building was once home to "The Cloud Club," one of the oldest and most well-known elite lunch clubs in the country. The club included members like E.F. Hutton, Condé Naste and boxer Gene Tunney. The club took up residence on the 66th, 67th and 68th floors and featured a Tudor-style lounge on the 66th. A stock-ticker room, a barbershop and a locker room with cabinets to store booze during Prohibition were other notable elements of The Cloud Club.
CORRECTION, AUG. 25, 12:20 P.M. ET: A previous version of this story displayed an image of the Empire State Building. The image has been updated.
9. Salesforce Tower
Completed: Under Construction
Location: San Francisco
Height: 1,070 feet
The 61-story building is the tallest in San Francisco in addition to being one of the tallest west of Chicago. Salesforce Tower was built by Boston Properties, which holds a 95% interest in the building; Hines holds the remaining 5% share.
The tower is still under construction, but tenants are anticipated to begin occupying the building in Q4. The building is expected to cost $1.1B, Fortune reports. Once complete, the top 150 feet of the tower will be home to the highest public art light installation in the U.S.
8. Three World Trade Center
Completion: Under Construction
Location: New York City
Height: 1,079 feet
Three World Trade Center is one of several buildings within the new World Trade Center complex and is surrounded by a cluster of buildings including 2 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center and 7 World Trade Center.
The 80-floor building is owned by Silverstein Properties founder Larry Silverstein, and was designed by architecture firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The tower features floor-to-ceiling glass and column-free floor plates that offer seamless open environment workspaces. The ground-floor lobby will be three stories high, with views of the 9/11 Memorial park outside.
Three World Trade Center is expected to come online in 2018 with 1.8M RSF of offices.
7. Wilshire Grand Center
Completion: June 2017
Location: Los Angeles
Height: 1,099 feet
The Wilshire Grand Center is brand new, having just opened in June. The 73-story skyscraper resides in the heart of Los Angeles and is home to the 889-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel.
The tower boasts a sky lobby on the 70th floor, the first of its kind in Los Angeles. The building also features the "Spire Lounge," which is a rooftop cocktail lounge on the 73rd floor offering 360-degree views of the city below.
6. John Hancock Center
Height: 1,128 feet
The John Hancock Center is one of the world’s first mixed-use tall building projects.
The original design called for a 45-story office tower with a separate, 70-story apartment building, but due to a growing list of issues, the plan turned instead into a tapered design with a residential component built on top of the office portion.
The 44th floor is dedicated to residential amenities, including a private grocery store run by the Potash Brothers chain, party rooms, kitchens, communal lounges, a fitness center, a dry cleaner, a library, post office and the highest indoor pool in the country.
5. Aon Center
Height: 1,136 feet
The Aon Center is among the tallest buildings in Chicago and is one of the city’s “string of pearls” buildings in the skyline.
Originally covered in 43,000 columns of Italian Carrara marble, the building's outside was redone with white granite in the early 1990s. In addition to physical changes, the building's namesake has also changed throughout the years. The Aon Center was originally named the Standard Oil Building because the Standard Oil Company of Indiana had commissioned the design from Perkins+Will.
Though neither the name nor the company have remained, the building's nickname, “Big Stan,” has stuck around to this day.
4. Bank of America Tower
Location: New York City
Height: 1,200 feet
Bank of America Tower was designed to set a new standard for high-performance buildings in sustainability, Skyscraper Center reports. Its design was inspired by the outdoors.
The building also features a street-level urban garden room, a pedestrian passage/performance space and the Stephen Sondheim Theater, which is the first “green” Broadway theater in New York. Bank of America Tower is also the first commercial high-rise in the country to earn LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
3. Empire State Building
Location: New York City
Height: 1,250 feet
The building, which was completed in April 1931, took only one year and 45 days to build. According to CNN, in 1945 toward the end of World War II, an Army Corps B-25 twin-engine bomber plane crashed into the 79th floor of the building. Thick fog prevented the pilot from seeing the building ahead of him that night and while only two floors were damaged in the crash, 14 people were killed.
The building has since been repaired and is now a booming tourist attraction with many movies having been filmed there, including "Sleepless in Seattle," "Elf" and "An Affair to Remember."
But the building does not only attract tourists. There is so much static electricity at the top, couples have been known to literally see sparks fly when they kiss. On a clear day, the Empire State Building offers views of up to 80 miles into New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
2. Willis Tower
Height: 1,451 feet
Prior to the development of One World Trade Center, Willis Tower held the title of the tallest building in the world, one it had held for nearly 25 years.
More recently, The Blackstone Group announced it will be investing half a billion dollars in a restoration and transformation project of Willis Tower. The new renovations will feature a three-story glass podium that connects to the office lobby, in addition to 300K SF of new retail, dining and entertainment amenities. A glass-enclosed winter garden will reside at the ground level and a year-round outdoor rooftop will sit on top of the building and will include a skating rink in the winter.
1. One World Trade Center
Location: New York
Height: 1,776 feet
One World Trade Center opened in 2014 and holds the title of tallest building in the U.S. to date. The tower is 95% owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
With a total of 103 floors, the building offers incredible views of midtown Manhattan and the river and harbor. On the 64th floor, the building features One World Commons, a 25K SF space full of amenities for tenants. Conference rooms, event rooms, a game room and a café can all be found on the floor.
The world-renowned building has not been without controversy. A recent lawsuit against Skidmore, Owings & Merrill claims the tower's design was stolen from Jeehoon Park, now head of Qube Architecture in Georgia, when he was a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Park filed the lawsuit in June and claims there were numerous ways SOM could have stolen his designs. His graduate adviser during university now works for SOM.