Top 10 Skyscrapers To See Before You Die

These are the buildings that have broken records and dominate the skyline, having become center pieces of their respective cities. From popular tourist hotspots to iconic places of popular culture, these skyscrapers captivate us with their overly ambitious scope, amenities and designs. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down the Top 10 Skyscrapers you need to see before you die.
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Top 10 Skyscrapers To See Before You Die

They reach high into the atmosphere to captivate us with their imposing dominance. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Skyscrapers you need to see before you die.

Number 10: Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago, Illinois)


Kicking off our list is Donald Trump’s downtown Chicago condo and hotel complex. Built in 2009 at 92 stories tall, the windy city’s Trump Tower was designed to fit cohesively within Chicago’s already impressive skyline. To do this, it features three elevations that match the stature of surrounding buildings. It boasts a to-die-for view of the Chicago River, and – like all Trump products – is insanely extravagant.

Number 9: Woolworth Building (New York City, New York)


Just because this is one of the oldest skyscrapers in America doesn’t make its 57 stories any less remarkable. The Woolworth Building was built in 1913, and today it’s a National Historic and a New York City Landmark because of its stunning neo-gothic architecture. Because of its similarities to some traditional religious design, it is referred to as the “Cathedral of Commerce.”

Number 8: Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai, China)


The most recognizable detail on this Chinese skyscraper is the distinctive opening at its peak that was placed there to lessen wind pressure on the building. Also remarkable is the construction’s structural efficiency, since it was built using far less materials than similar skyscrapers. As one of the tallest buildings in the world, it is 101 stories of sheer size and simplicity.

Number 7: Taipei 101 (Taipei, Taiwan)


This was the tallest skyscraper in the world between 2004-2010, and it also has the distinction of being one of the largest environmentally-friendly buildings on the planet. Built to withstand typhoons and earthquakes, it is both a breathtaking showcase of modern and conventional Asian design, and a symbol of Asia’s evolving technology and traditions. Taipei 101 also features a shopping mall and hosts exciting New Year’s fireworks displays.

Number 6: Chrysler Building (New York City, New York)


Built by Walter P. Chrysler in 1930 on Manhattan’s East Side, this building was ironically never actually owned by the auto manufacturer, though they were tenants until the 1950s. In a city full of recognizable skyscrapers, this 77-story art deco construction is one of the most distinctive, due to its distinguishing crowned arches and breathtaking use of external lighting.

Number 5: Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


Until 2004, these twin skyscrapers were the tallest buildings in the world. Built in 1998, this 88-floor construction is a landmark in Kuala Lumpur and it reflects Malaysia’s Muslim culture with Islamic-inspired design. The main material used to build these towers is super high-strength reinforced concrete, and while this helped keep costs down it did make this a massively heavy skyscraper.

Number 4: Willis Tower (Chicago, Illinois)


You probably remember this skyscraper by its former name: the Sears Tower. Completed in 1973, this triumph of innovation is filled with retail as well as office space, and it boasts impressive views of the surrounding city from its Skydeck. For almost a quarter century, this was the tallest building in the world, and today it remains one of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions.

Number 3: One World Trade Center (New York City, New York)


Sometimes called the Freedom Tower, this skyscraper was built in part as a memorial to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 at a cost of $4 billion. It was designed to reach 1,776-feet into the sky thanks to its spire, to honor the year of American independence. Its traditional look is reminiscent of the original World Trade Center towers, and shines as a beacon of the American spirit.

Number 2: Burj Khalifa (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)


When it opened in 2010, the Burj Khalifa was the tallest building on the planet, and the highest manmade structure on earth at 2,723 feet. Other records broken by this skyscraper include world’s highest nightclub, observation deck, restaurant, fireworks display, and elevator. It stands as an anchor of Downtown Dubai, and marks the city’s transition from an oil-based to a tourism-based economy. Its price tag of $1.5 billion implies its status as a symbol of excess and wealth.

Number 1: The Empire State Building (New York City, New York)


Taking the top spot on our list is this symbolic New York City landmark. Built in 1931 during the Great Depression, this superstructure was the first to surpass 100 floors and held the title of “World’s Tallest Building” the longest. Constructed with a lightning rod, seasonal floodlights and an observation deck at its peak, the sheer size and powerful look of the Empire State Building will forever be recognized in popular culture thanks to a certain movie monster.

These are the skyscrapers on our bucket list: Which do you want to see?
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