New York City kicked off the world’s fascination with skyscrapers in 1908 thanks to the combination of steel-frame construction and the elevator.
The Singer Building, the city’s first skyscraper, topped out at 612 feet.
New York played host to the world’s tallest building for the next 66 years, until Chicago’s Willis Tower took the title in 1974. It wasn’t until 1998 that Asia produced an even taller building, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Building database Emporis.com shows how the world’s tallest buildings gradually moved from the U.S. to the Middle East and Asia in the graphic below.
1 meter equals about 3.3 feet with the tallest building — the Burj Khalifa, a mixed-use facility in Dubai — reaching 2,717 feet.
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