The 20 Tallest Skyscrapers in the World

by Chris Newens  |  Published February 28, 2017

Tallest for the longest. Empire State Building, U.S.A. 

A long, wide thoroughfare in New York's Chinatown (Photo: Vivienne Gucwa via Flickr / CC By 2.0)

The original and still the best (Photo: chrisinphilly4885 via Flickr / CC By 2.0)

What list of skyscrapers would be complete without a mention of the most famous of them all: the world’s best known ‘world’s tallest building’, built all the way back in 1931 and even in the fiercely competitive industry of the mega-tall has only fallen to 31 on the list.

Iconic in every way, designed in the Art Deco style, it has been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World (by the American Society of Civil Engineers), and of course, fittingly, was climbed by the Eighth! How many other skyscrapers have had such a moment in the celluloid sun as the Empire State Building did when King Kong mounted it in 1933?

Designed by William F. Lamb, who supposedly drew up the plans in under two weeks, basing them in part on the schematics for the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Keeping to that pace, excavation of the site began January, 1930, with the entire structure being completed just over a year later, in May, 1931.