At a time when urban centers were growing increasingly crowded, the introduction of the safety elevator in 1853 ushered in the modern era of skyscrapers. These massive feats of engineering are now common in major U.S. cities like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, rising hundreds of feet into the air 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 only a handful of cities in the country are commonly associated with skyscrapers, there are now hundreds of skyscrapers in the United States spread across dozens of different states. Most states have at least one building taller than 500 feet.
New York, Illinois, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas are the only states with finished buildings over 1,000 feet tall. Pennsylvania just recently joined the list, as Philadelphia’s Comcast Technology Center was completed in 2018, standing 1,121 feet high. The trend of skyscrapers, however, has not caught on everywhere. Vermont, Wyoming, and South Dakota do not have a single building that stands more than 200 feet. The tallest building in most states is owned and operated by a company looking to stand out in the skyline. But in North Dakota and West Virginia, the tallest structure is the state capitol building.
To determine the tallest building in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Only completely finished buildings were considered. Whether or not a building is completed also came from the CTBUH. Data for buildings under 500 feet tall came from various media sources.