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History of Skyscrapers

    One thing that is quite clear about humans is our ever growing need to construct high-rise buildings, increasing in height with each new one. Take the Burj Khalifa, for example. It is currently the world’s largest skyscraper, however, it is soon to be replaced by the Jeddah Tower (Saudi Arabia) which is set to be completed in 2020. That’s what the future has in store regarding these marvelous edifices. It is worth knowing how far along we’ve come since the first ever skyscraper.

    Here is a brief timeline of skyscrapers:

    ◘ 1885: Although only 10 stories tall, the Chicago Home Insurance (Chicago) building is considered to be the first skyscraper. It was later torn down and replaced with the Field Building (Chicago) in 1913 (with 45 stories).

    ◘ 1905: The New York Times Tower (New York), headquarters of the famous newspaper, was finished in 1905. It was dubbed the tallest building in the city from base to top. Without taking the flagpole and basements into account, it stands at 363 feet rather than the boasted 476 feet.

    ◘ 1976: What is formerly known as the John Hancock Tower, 200 Clarendon (Boston) is iconic for its modernist design (blue-tinted mirror-like glass window panes, from floor to ceiling). It stands at 790 feet as the tallest building in New England.

    ◘ 2012: As the 2nd tallest tower in the world, the Tokyo Skytree stands at an awesome height of 634 meters. The most fascinating aspect about this structure - besides its height - is its intelligent design. It’s built with a central pole constructed from concrete, and owed to its mass, it’s built to sustain minimal structural damage in earthquake. How amazing!

    Throughout history we’ve been gifted time and time again with these beautiful monoliths to spectate at and from at great heights. Naturally, this begs the question, what heights will we go to until we’ve achieved contentment regarding super structures?

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