America's Tallest Buildings
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Skyscraper Bucket List: America's 25 Tallest Buildings

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America's Tallest Buildings
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Building Anticipation

The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but the United States boasts plenty of vertical treasures worth marveling at — especially on Skyscraper Day, Sept. 3. It marks the birthday of architect Louis Sullivan, whose work in the 1890s helped make today's structures possible. Here are the 25 tallest buildings in America, according to information from the nonprofit Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and other sources. Some of the buildings feature viewing decks, which can have pricey admission fees, but there are deals and budget-friendly tips to alleviate them. And skyscrapers, like other architectural gems, may inspire even more awe from street level.

Comcast Center, Philadelphia
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Comcast Center, Philadelphia

Height: 974 feet
The 57-story Comcast Center tower has a few distinctive features, including a 2,000-square-foot HD video wall in the lobby showing hyper-realistic images. A bright, open (and open to the public) eight-story winter garden uses sunscreens and louvers to bring in maximum daylight while blocking the sun's heat, part of the building's overall ecological focus.

4 World Trade Center, New York
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4 World Trade Center, New York

Height: 977 feet
Part of the new World Trade Center complex in New York City, 4 World Trade Center contains 65 floors of office and retail space. Visitors to the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial can take a short stroll to check out the modern, minimalist structure with an expansive ground-floor lobby, but the 57th-floor terrace is now owned by a finance tech company.

Wells Fargo Plaza, Houston
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Wells Fargo Plaza, Houston

Height: 992 feet
The gleaming, reflective structure of the Wells Fargo Plaza greets visitors to downtown Houston. Its 71 stories contain primarily office suites, a health club, and the Consulate-General of the United Kingdom.

Two Prudential Plaza, Chicago
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Two Prudential Plaza, Chicago

Height: 995 feet
Two Prudential Plaza is flanked by the Aon Center and One Prudential Plaza in Chicago's Loop. Sixty-four stories tall, it features a pyramid peak and distinctive chevron detailing on the sides.

JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston
Source: TripAdvisor

JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston

Height: 1,002 feet
At 75 stories, the JPMorgan Chase Tower is the tallest building in Texas, but what really sets it apart is that it's the tallest five-sided building in the world. The 60th-floor observatory, formerly a top free tourist attraction for Houston visitors, was closed to the public in 2016.

One57, New York
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One57, New York

Height: 1,004 feet
One57, in midtown Manhattan overlooking Central Park, boasts some of the most expensive residences in New York City — including a penthouse that sold for $101 million in 2015. The 75-story tower is easily recognized for its gleaming, wavy, blue glass, in addition to its height.

Franklin Center, Chicago
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Franklin Center, Chicago

Height: 1,007 feet
Downtown Chicago's Franklin Center, home to offices and commercial space, is clad in dark red and rose-colored granite in a postmodern style that features sharp pinnacles, bold lines, and Gothic detailing reminiscent of the 1920s. The tower rises 60 stories.

35 Hudson Yards, New York
Source: Corcoran

35 Hudson Yards, New York

Height: 1,010 feet
Part of a new, 28-acre "city within a city" of homes, office buildings, parks, retail, and restaurants, this tower is primarily residential and built around the first Equinox-branded hotel. (The company took a hit within weeks of the opening, when an investor hosted a fundraiser for President Donald Trump, but threats to boycott Equinox don't seem to have reached the real estate sector.)

U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles
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U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles

Height: 1,018 feet
To see Los Angeles in all its glitzy glory, head to the U.S. Bank Tower. The 73-story building offers an open-air observation deck and the all-glass Skyslide. A combo ticket costs $33 for adults. If you want to save a little money — or don't want to feel like you're falling 45 feet while suspended nearly 1,000 feet above city streets — subtract the Skyslide and pay $25 for general admission to OUE Skyspace LA.

Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta
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Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta

Height: 1,023 feet
The tallest building in the Southeast, the 55-story Bank of America Plaza features two landscaped plazas on either side where visitors can admire the art deco tower. The spired top lights up golden at night.

Chrysler Building, New York
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Chrysler Building, New York

Height: 1,046 feet
The 77-story Chrysler Building in midtown Manhattan is a must-see for its art deco architecture, featuring a beautiful crown and majestic spire — put up by surprise in 1930 to successfully make the building the world's tallest, although the honor lasted for only 11 months. A 71st-floor viewing gallery was closed to the public in 1945, but visitors should keep an eye out for this quintessential New York landmark and its gargoyles when walking up Lexington Avenue.

The New York Times Building, New York
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The New York Times Building, New York

Height: 1,046 feet
The New York Times Building sits a block from Times Square in New York City. The 52-story building boasts double layers of floor-to-ceiling glass walls, so the sun serves as a major source of light for its occupants.

Salesforce Tower, San Francisco
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Salesforce Tower, San Francisco

Height: 1,070 feet
Checking in at 61 floors, Salesforce Tower opened this year in the city’s Transbay district, near other big tech names such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Its slender, gleaming figure has been compared to “an enormous zucchini” — it tapers toward the top, where there is a nine-story LED display. Called "Day for Night" and created by artist Jim Campbell, the display features footage shot in the area and rendered in low resolution.

3 World Trade Center, New York
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3 World Trade Center, New York

Height: 1,079 feet
Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners and opened this past June, this building is another step in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. This 80-floor structure houses 2.5 million square feet of commercial space and was designed with an eye toward sustainability. Recycled rainwater is used in its air conditioning system, and office workers can enjoy a 5,500-square-foot landscaped garden on the 17th floor and a smaller one on the 76th floor.

Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles
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Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles

Height: 1,100 feet
Currently the tallest building in the City of Angels, as well as the tallest building west of the Mississippi, the Wilshire Grand boasts 73 stories and futuristic lighting and video displays that give it star power in the L.A. skyline. Within its gently arcing profile, it houses the 889-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel, offices, and numerous restaurants and bars (including what is considered the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere).

Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia
Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia by TKD7089pro (CC BY)

Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia

Height: 1,121 feet
The City of Brotherly Love is also home to another Comcast tower, the tallest building in the state. The Comcast Technology Center was completed this summer with 59 floors and 1.56 million square feet. A Four Seasons hotel will eventually occupy several of the building’s upper floors.

875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
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875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Height: 1,128 feet
The 360 Chicago observatory at 875 N. Michigan Ave. — formerly John Hancock Center — features an attraction called Tilt. It literally tilts visitors to a 30-degree angle, so they can look down onto Michigan Avenue from the 94th floor. Admission to the observation deck is $25 for adults and $15 for kids. You can also visit the Signature Lounge, on the 96th floor of this 100-story tower, where a beer costs less than observatory admission but offers the same view (minus the tilt).

Aon Center, Chicago
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Aon Center, Chicago

Height: 1,136 feet
The 83-story Aon Center was previously known as the Standard Oil Building, the world's tallest marble-covered building at its completion in 1974. The marble was later removed due to cracks and instability, but the Aon Center, now covered in white granite, is still a sight to behold, and Chicago's third-tallest structure.

Bank of America Tower, New York
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Bank of America Tower, New York

Height: 1,200 feet
Opposite Bryant Park, the Bank of America Tower stands 55 stories. It houses more than 2 million square feet of office space and is renowned for its green architecture, including an Urban Garden Room on the ground floor with living plant sculptures that's free to visit.

Empire State Building, New York
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Empire State Building, New York

Height: 1,250 feet
This treasure of midtown Manhattan needs no introduction. Unfortunately the prices are as high as the spire. Tickets to the main deck on the 86th floor cost $38 for adults and $32 for children. About $20 more has traditionally allowed admission to the deck on the 102nd story (the building's highest), but renovations have kept the floor off-limits since January, and an anticipated July date for reopening came and went. 

30 Hudson Yards, New York
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30 Hudson Yards, New York

Height: 1,268 feet
Completed this year and opened in April, 30 Hudson Yards is the showpiece of its namesake development. Although it's mainly office space, the designers capitalized on its current status as the third-tallest tower in New York and fifth-tallest in the country: It features a cantilevered outdoor observation deck, called Edge, that's touted as the highest in the Western Hemisphere and set to open to the public by early 2020.

Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago
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Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago

Height: 1,389 feet
This gleaming part-condo, part-commercial tower with hotel rooms, restaurants, and a spa was designed to fit in with Chicago's existing skyline, with each of its three "steps" matching the height of nearby buildings. Despite being one of the tallest in the country, at 98 stories, the building offers only one way for the public to take in a view: an outdoor restaurant on the 16th floor — so, less than a fifth of the way up.

432 Park Avenue, New York
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432 Park Avenue, New York

Height: 1,396 feet
To see the tallest residential building in the world, head to Park Avenue and East 56th Street in New York, where 432 Park Avenue holds 104 condominiums. The 85-story tower is taller than the Empire State Building, but to see the view, you have to know someone on the inside.

Willis Tower in Chicago
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Willis Tower, Chicago

Height: 1,451 feet
The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) is 108 stories, but its Skydeck Observatory is on the 103rd floor. Visitors get views of the Chicago area and Lake Michigan and, on a clear day, even a peek at Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Admission is $25 for adults and $17 for kids. If you have the nerve, step onto the glass ledge that lets you "float" 1,353 feet above the ground.

One World Trade Center, New York
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One World Trade Center, New York

Height: 1,776 feet
With 104 stories rising a symbolic 1,776 feet, One World Trade Center has officially been the tallest skyscraper in America since its completion in 2012. The One World Observatory on floors 100 to 102 of the tower offers panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey starting at $35 for adults and $29 for children. (There have been 2-for-1 Tuesday deals for Mastercard holders.)