This Visualization Shows the World’s Tallest Buildings Over the Past 100 Years

News Art + Architecture
by Eben Diskin Jul 22, 2020

It can be difficult to really wrap your head around the staggering advancements in human architecture. Skyscrapers don’t pop up overnight and progress happens so slowly, and so gradually, that visualizing it can be almost impossible.

This video, posted on the FilmCore YouTube channel, is a striking visualization of the world’s tallest buildings from the year 1901 to 2022 (yes, it gives you a glimpse into the future). It begins in 1901 with Philadelphia City Hall, at 548 feet. That’s right. A 548-foot building was, not too long ago, the tallest building in the world.

The video quickly moves through the 20th century, with the Chrysler Building making its debut in 1930, at 1,046 feet, and the Empire State Building following a year after at 1,250 feet. It would be another 40 years before the Empire State Building’s record was shattered by the World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet, and then the Sears Tower two years later at 1,451 feet. Not until 1998 did the tallest building title leave the US, when the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were erected. After that, it’s the Middle East dominating, with the Burj Khalifa in Dubai currently topping the list at 2,717 feet. According to the visualization, though, Dubai is set to break its own record with the Dubai Creek Tower, set for completion in 2022, at 4,413 feet.

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