All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Skycrapers

Skycrapers: The Latest Architecture and News

What Are the Tallest Buildings Ever Demolished?

10:30 - 19 May, 2018
10 Tallest Demolished Buildings. Image Courtesy of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
10 Tallest Demolished Buildings. Image Courtesy of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has recently released a new research study titled "Tallest Demolished Buildings" that examines 100 of the tallest buildings ever to have been dismantled by their owners. The report confirms that, if JPMorgan Chase continues with their plans, SOM's 270 Park Avenue in New York City would become the tallest building ever conventionally demolished, as well as the first over 200 meters in height.

The study showed that in most cases, the buildings were torn down to make way for newer high-rises, as was the case for the current tallest building ever to be demolished, the Singer Building in New York City. The Singer Building stood 187 meters and 41 stories tall until it was torn down in 1968 to make way for One Liberty Plaza.

The Indicator: What Goes Up Does Not Come Down

00:00 - 20 November, 2013
The Indicator: What Goes Up Does Not Come Down, One World Trade Center as seen from the Hudson River. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia
One World Trade Center as seen from the Hudson River. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

We all know what architecture critic Banksy thinks about 1 World Trade Center. He infamously called it a “shyscraper” in an op-ed piece the New York Times declined to publish. But that hasn’t stopped the article from circulating and pissing New Yorker’s off. In true Banksy form you can find it on his website, mocked up to appear like a front page headline.

In it, he writes, “It reminds you of a really tall kid at a party, awkwardly shifting his shoulders trying not to stand out from the crowd. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a shy skyscraper.” Of course, this didn’t stop the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) from recently celebrating it as the tallest building in this here United States of America. Yippee ki-yay!

But- who cares? New York has many other things going on urbanistically and architecturally that render tallness less significant than it used to be, if not outright pointless. Infrastructural interventions of the more horizontal sort, a la the High Line for example, seem far more significant. In the face of real urban complexity and uneven development, grasping for tallness is a simplistic go-to, while the real problems remain down on the street, unrelated to air rights, view corridors, sunlight access angles, and blocked horizons. 

And yet cities of the world continue to privilege tall towers as icons of economic and political might.