At a time when urban centers were growing increasingly crowded, the introduction of the safety elevator in 1853 ushered in the modern era of tall buildings. Skyscrapers are now commonplace in major U.S. cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, rising hundreds of feet and shaping iconic skylines.
Corporations have always competed for the honor of owning the tallest building in the city or state, and the competition continues to this day. California’s tallest building, the Wilshire Grand Center, officially opened in 2017. Standing 1,100 feet tall, it now towers over the rest of Los Angeles — and California for that matter.
Though there are now hundreds of buildings across the country that stand over 500 feet tall, each one is a marvel of modern engineering. Most states have at least one building taller than 500 feet.