This chart is an artifact of the 20th century that was updated in 2010 and in 2020. It was originally created by the Skyscraper Museum as a wall mural for its debut exhibition in 1997 and added as the first feature on our new website, which was one of the only 1.1 million registered sites in 1997. Then, the mural lineup ended at the right with the recently completed twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, which were the only buildings on the chart that were not American. Indeed, in 1998, the title of “world’s tallest building” left the U.S. and has never returned. The original chart was updated with the 2005 Taipei 101 in Taiwan and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which has held the title since 2010.
The fascination with the idea of the “world’s tallest building” is perennial – as evidenced by the fact that this page has consistently remained the most popular search term and return on our website for more than two decades. It illustrates on a timeline, in succession, all the skyscrapers that were – sometimes arguably – the tallest in the world from 1890 to the present day. Clicking the red dots produces the pop-up write-up and statistics from the original site and a new series of images from postcards or images in our collection. In addition, the menu above provides links to more recent online projects on our site that concern the History of Height, Supertall Surveys, and a host of other topics.