The history behind the 3 tallest buildings in the U.S.


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Every structure has a story. It’s important to know how things were built and how much work went into creating some of the country’s most iconic places, whether it’s the history behind popular Seattle landmarks or the most famous music venues in the U.S. A lot of our customers got into construction because they wanted to have a hand in building places that people will visit and enjoy for a long time.

One great construction feat is building one of the tallest buildings in the U.S. A structure of that magnitude can define a skyline and city. Here are the three tallest buildings in the U.S. and the history behind how they were constructed.

One World Trade Center

one world trade center

Built: 2014

Height: 1,792 feet

Construction cost: $3.9 billion


  • One World Trade Center in New York City was built on the original World Trade Center site and has the same name as the North Tower. At 1,792 feet tall with 104 floors, it is the tallest building in the U.S. and the 6th tallest in the world. The top floor is 1,368 feet above ground level — the same as the original One World Trade Center.
  • The tower was designed by architect David Childs and his firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the same firm behind the Willis Tower. In 2006, the public was invited to sign a 30-foot steel beam before construction began.
  • The World Trade Center complex also includes a National September 11 Memorial & Museum and five high-rise office buildings.

Willis Tower

willis tower

Built: 1973

Height: 1,729 feet

Construction cost: $150 million


  • Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the Willis Tower is a 110-story, 1,729-foot building in Chicago. Designed by architect Fazlur Rahman Khan, the Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for 25 years before the completion of the One World Trade Center.
  • The Willis Tower was the first building to use tubes to create the structure. The design included nine square tubes in a 3×3 matrix to form a square base with 225-foot sides. Each tube reaches the 50th floor, with some reaching as high as the 108th floor.
  • The tower’s observation deck is located on the 103rd floor and is the highest observation deck in the U.S. at 1,353 feet. The antenna for local NBC station WMAQ-TV is the tallest point of the building at 1,729 feet.

432 Park Avenue

432 park avenue

Built: 2015

Height: 1,396 feet

Construction cost: $1.25 billion


  • 432 Park Avenue in New York City was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. His inspiration for the design came from a trash can designed by Austrian designer Josef Hoffman in 1905. Developed by CIM Group, the 88-floor tower contains 125 condominium apartments.
  • To construct the tower, they built a 30-foot square of reinforced concrete with 30-inch-thick walls. In order to keep the tower from swaying from high winds, between every 12 occupied floors is 2 floors with a window grid and interior space that are left open to allow the wind to pass through.
  • Amenities for 432 Park Avenue include 12-foot ceilings, a golf training facility, private dining, and screening rooms.

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