What Are the 10 Tallest Buildings in the United States?

The United States is full of skyscrapers, but these are the very tallest buildings in the United States, soaring high into the sky.

Aug 19, 2023By Rosie Lesso, MA Contemporary Art Theory, BA Fine Art

what are the tallest buildings in the united states


The United States holds some of the most impressive feats of architectural innovation in the entire world, both large and small. But those that reach the highest for the sky can demonstrate just how far our engineering capabilities have come since the ‘race to the sky’ began during the early 20th century, when the Empire State Building was once the tallest building in human history. These towering structures of today range from commercial office spaces housing viewing platforms to private apartments with impressive views across the city skyline. The majority, perhaps unsurprisingly, are situated within New York City. 


1. One World Trade Centre, New York (1,776 feet)

New York’s One World Trade Centre


First unveiled to the public in 2014, the One World Trade Centre was built in the same location as the former North Tower of the original Twin Towers World Trade Centre buildings destroyed during 9/11. With 94 floors that reach 1,776 feet into the sky, this commercial office building is now widely accepted as the tallest construction in the United States. 


2. Central Park Tower, New York (1,550 feet)

New York’s Central Park Tower


Also located on the New York City skyline, Central Park Tower is on ‘Billionaire’s Row’, and comprises private domestic apartments that cover 98 floors for some of New York’s wealthiest inhabitants. Central Park Tower is 1,550 feet high, making it easily the second-tallest building in the entire U.S. The tall, skinny building is one of New York’s trademark ‘pencil’ constructs, and it opened officially in 2020, making it one of the city’s newer additions to the skyscraper network


3. Willis Tower, Chicago (1,450 feet)

Willis Tower in Chicago with the spire lit up at night

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Formerly known as Sears Tower, the building’s naming rights were sold to the London based brokerage Willis Group in 2009, although many still call the building by its former name. At 1,450 feet high and with an impressive 108 floors, this looming modernist masterpiece is the third tallest building in the U.S. At the time of its opening in 1973, it was the tallest building in the world, and it remained top of the list for a further 25 years. 


4. 111 W 57th St., NY/Steinway Tower (1,428 feet)

Steinway Tower in the center, one of the tallest buildings in the United States


The official title for this marvel of architectural engineering is 111 West 57th Street, although it is more commonly known as the catchier Steinway Tower, referencing the famed Steinway & Sons piano store that sits at the skyscraper’s base. Once a leading center where musicians would congregate, Steinway’s dwindling business meant they had to sell off the land to the developers who planned the tower’s construction. With 84 floors at 1,428 feet high, Steinway Tower is the fourth tallest building in the U.S. 


5. One Vanderbilt, New York (1,401 feet)

One Vanderbilt, New York, one of the tallest buildings in the United States


New York’s One Vanderbilt opened in 2020, and its 93 floors soaring 1,401 feet into the sky immediately captured public attention. As well as hosting multiple commercial office spaces, the building is also something of a tourist attraction, with a vast observation deck, exhibition space and interactive visitor area housed on the 73rd floor. 


6. 432 Park Avenue, New York (1,396 feet)

The lofty 432 Park Avenue in New York, towering over the city


432 Park Avenue’s towering block of 104 private apartments opened in 2015. At 1,396 feet high, it immediately made the top ten tallest buildings in the U.S. list. Prices for these exclusive, private apartments run into tens of millions each, making them among the most elite properties in the entire country.


7. Trump Int’l Hotel and Tower, Chicago (1,388 feet)

Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago


Whatever your personal or political allegiance, there’s no denying that Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago hits high in the tallest buildings of the U.S. A blend of retail, residential and hotel spaces, this vast tower holds 98 floors of real estate that reach 1,388 feet high. Made famous as the location for the 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight, the building is the former home of the Chicago Sun Times.


8. 30 Hudson Yards, New York (1,296 feet)

Hudson Yards, New York


At 103 floors high and 1,296 feet in height, this impressive monolith has acted as host to some of the city’s most prestigious businesses, including CNN and Warner Bros since opening in 2019. The building is also a popular tourist attraction, featuring an observation deck with a transparent floor on the 100th level, and a futuristic bar and restaurant on the 101st floor.


9. Empire State Building, New York (1,250 feet)

The Empire State Building towering over New York City


One of the city’s first true skyscrapers, the Art Deco masterpiece that is the Empire State Building still ranks in the top ten tallest buildings in the U.S., with its 102 floors reaching 1,250 feet into the sky. When it first opened in 1931, the Empire State Building captured public imagination around the world as the tallest building of all time, and it has remained a true icon of New York City ever since.


10. Bank of America Tower, New York (1,200 feet)

The controversial Bank of America Tower in New York


Opened in 2009, the Bank of America Tower holds 55 floors and is 1,200 feet high, and is host to the Bank of America’s global corporate and investment banking divisions. Once praised by the press as one of the world’s most “environmentally responsible high-rise office buildings,” the building was later discovered as a major polluter, which caused, according to the New Republic, “more energy per square foot than any comparably sized office building in Manhattan.” Unfortunately, the tower now has a notorious reputation for its excessive carbon emissions, which have resulted in a whopping $2.4 million fine.

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By Rosie LessoMA Contemporary Art Theory, BA Fine ArtRosie is a contributing writer and artist based in Scotland. She has produced writing for a wide range of arts organizations including Tate Modern, The National Galleries of Scotland, Art Monthly, and Scottish Art News, with a focus on modern and contemporary art. She holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art. Previously she has worked in both curatorial and educational roles, discovering how stories and history can really enrich our experience of art.