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The world's tallest artificial structure is the 829.8-metre-tall (2,722 ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). The building gained the official title of "Tallest Building in the World" and the tallest self-supported structure at its opening on January 9, 2010. The second-tallest self-supporting structure and the tallest tower is the Tokyo Skytree. The tallest guyed structure is the KVLY-TV mast.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization that certifies buildings as the "World's Tallest", recognizes a building only if at least 50% of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area. Structures that do not meet this criterion, such as the CN Tower, are defined as "towers".
There are dozens of radio and television broadcasting towers which measure over 600 metres (about 2,000 ft) in height, and only the tallest are recorded in publicly available information sources.
The assessment of the height of artificial structures has been controversial. Various standards have been used by different organizations which has meant that the title of world's tallest structure or building has changed depending on which standards have been accepted. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has changed its definitions over time. Some of the controversy regarding the definitions and assessment of tall structures and buildings has included the following:
Within an accepted definition of a building further controversy has included the following factors:
This category does not require the structure to be "officially" open but does require it to be "topped out".
The tallest artificial structure is Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai that reached 828.1 m (2,717 ft) in height on January 17, 2009. By April 7, 2008 it had been built higher than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA. That September it officially surpassed Poland's 646.38 m (2,120.7 ft) Warsaw radio mast, which stood from 1974 to 1991, to become the tallest structure ever built. Guyed lattice towers such as these masts had held the world height record since 1954.
The Petronius Platform stands 610 m (2,000 ft) off the sea floor leading some, including Guinness World Records 2007, to claim it as the tallest freestanding structure in the world. However, it is debated whether underwater height should be counted, in the same manner as height below ground is ignored on buildings. The Troll A platform is 472 m (1,549 ft), without any part of that height being supported by wires. The tension-leg type of oil platform has even greater below-water heights with several examples more than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) deep. However, these platforms are not considered constant structures as the vast majority of their height is made up of the length of the tendons attaching the floating platforms to the sea floor. Despite this, Guinness World Records 2009 listed the Ursa tension leg platform as the tallest structure in the world with a total height of 1,306 m (4,285 ft). The Magnolia Tension-leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico is even taller with a total height of 1,432 m (4,698 ft).
Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, set records in three of the four skyscraper categories at the time it opened in 2004; at the time the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 it remained the world's tallest inhabited building 509.2 m (1,671 ft) as measured to its architectural height (spire). The height of its roof 449.2 m (1,474 ft) and highest occupied floor 439.2 m (1,441 ft) had been surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center with corresponding heights of 487 and 474 m (1,598 and 1,555 ft). Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was the highest in the final category: the greatest height to top of antenna of any building in the world at 527.3 m (1,730 ft).
Burj Khalifa broke the height record in all four categories for completed buildings.
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Due to the disagreements over how to measure height and classify structures, engineers have created various definitions for categories of buildings and other structures. One measure includes the absolute height of a building, another includes only spires and other permanent architectural features, but not antennas. The tradition of including the spire on top of a building and not including the antenna dates back to the rivalry between the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street. A modern-day example is that the antenna on top of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is not considered part of its architectural height, while the spires on top of the Petronas Twin Towers are counted.
Note: The following table is a list of the tallest completed structure in each of the 53 categories below. There can only be one structure in each category, unless the title for the tallest is a draw.
|Category||Structure||Country||City||Height (metres)||Height (feet)||Year built||Coordinates|
|Mixed use||Burj Khalifa||United Arab Emirates||Dubai||828||2,717||2010|
|Self-supporting tower||Tokyo Skytree||Japan||Tokyo||634||2,080||2011|
|Guyed steel lattice mast||KVLY-TV mast||United States||Blanchard, North Dakota||628.8||2,063||1963|
|Clock building||Abraj Al Bait Towers||Saudi Arabia||Mecca||601||1,972||2011|
|Office||One World Trade Center||United States||New York, New York||541||1,776||2013|
|Military structure||Large masts of INS Kattabomman||India||Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu||471||1,545||2014||;|
|Mast radiator||Lualualei VLF transmitter||United States||Lualualei, Hawaii||458||1,503||1972||;|
|Twin towers||Petronas Twin Towers||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||452||1,482||1998||;|
|Mixed use||Milad tower||Iran||Tehran||435||1,427||2009|
|Residential||432 Park Avenue||United States||New York, New York||425.5||1,396||2015|
|Chimney||Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station||Kazakhstan||Ekibastuz||419.7||1,377||1987|
|Radar||Dimona Radar Facility||Israel||Dimona||400||1,312||2008||;|
|Lattice tower||Kiev TV Tower||Ukraine||Kiev||385||1,263||1973|
|Electricity pylon||Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie||China||Zhoushan||370||1,214||2009||;|
|Partially guyed tower||Gerbrandy Tower||Netherlands||IJsselstein||366.8||1,203||1961|
|Guyed tubular steel mast||TV Tower Vinnytsia||Ukraine||Vinnytsia||354||1,161||1961|
|Bridge pillar||Millau Viaduct||France||Millau||342||1,122||2004|
|Scientific research tower||Amazon Tall Tower Observatory||Brazil||160 km NE of Manaus||325||1,066||2015|
|Blaw-Knox Tower (diamond cantilever tower)||Lakihegy Tower||Hungary||Szigetszentmiklós||314||1,031||1968|
|University||Main building of Moscow State University||Russia||Moscow||240||787.4||1953|
|Wind turbine||Hausbay Nordex N131/3300 Wind Turbine ||Germany||Hausbay||229.5||753||2016|
|Minaret||Hassan II Mosque||Morocco||Casablanca||210||689||1993|
|Cooling tower||Kalisindh Thermal Power Station||India||Jhalawar||202||663||2012||;|
|Monument||Gateway Arch||United States||St. Louis, Missouri||192||630||1965|
|Water tower||Main tower of Kuwait Towers||Kuwait||Kuwait City||187||614||1979|
|Wooden structure||ATLAS-I at Kirtland Air Force Base||United States||Albuquerque||180||600||1980|
|Masonry tower||Anaconda Smelter Stack||United States||Anaconda, Montana||178.3||585||1919|
|Inclined structure||Olympic Stadium||Canada||Montreal||175||574||1976|
|Obelisk||San Jacinto Monument||United States||La Porte, Texas||173.7||570||1939|
|Ferris wheel||High Roller||United States||Las Vegas||167.6||550||2014|
|Masonry building||Mole Antonelliana||Italy||Torino||167||548||1889|
|Masonry building||Philadelphia City Hall||United States||Philadelphia||167||548||1901|
|Flagpole||Jeddah Flagpole||Saudi Arabia||Jeddah||171||561||2014|
|Church tower||Ulmer Münster||Germany||Ulm||162||530||1890|
|Industrial hall||Vehicle Assembly Building||United States||Kennedy Space Center, Florida||160||525||1966|
|Dome||Dome of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro||Ivory Coast||Yamoussoukro||158||518||1990|
|Memorial cross||Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos||Spain||El Escorial||152.4||500||1957|
|Telescope||Arecibo Telescope||Puerto Rico||Arecibo, Puerto Rico||150||492||1963|
|Roller coaster||Kingda Ka||United States||Jackson, New Jersey||138.98||456||2005|
|Tomb||Great Pyramid of Giza||Egypt||Giza||138.8||455.2||2560 BCE|
|Lighthouse||Jeddah Light||Saudi Arabia||Jeddah||133||436||1990|
|Air traffic control tower||Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 Control Tower||Malaysia||Sepang||141.3||463.6||2013||
|Statue (incl. pedestal)||Spring Temple Buddha||China||Lushan||128||420||2002|
|Wooden lattice tower||Gliwice Radio Tower||Poland||Gliwice||118||387||1935|
|Storage silo||Schapfen Mill Tower||Germany||Ulm||115||377||2005|
|Aerial tramway support tower||Pillar of third section of Gletscherbahn Kaprun||Austria||Kaprun||113.6||373||1966|
|Brick lighthouse||Lighthouse of Genoa||Italy||Genoa||77||253||1543|
|Wooden church||Church of the Săpânța-Peri Monastery||Romania||Săpânța||75||246||2003|
There are some destroyed architectural structures which were taller than the tallest existing structure of their type. There are also destroyed structures omitted from this list that had been surpassed in height prior to being destroyed.
|Category||Structure||Country||City||Height (metres)||Height (feet)||Coordinates||Remarks|
|Guyed mast||Warsaw Radio Mast||Poland||Gąbin||646.38||2,121||completed in 1974, collapsed on August 8, 1991|
|Scientific research tower||BREN Tower||United States||Nevada Test Site||462||1,516||completed in 1962, demolished May 23, 2012|
|Guyed tubular steel mast||Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter||Japan||Tsushima||389||1,276||completed in 1973, dismantled in 1998|
|Structure for scientific experiment||Smokey Shot Tower||United States||Nevada Test Site||213||700||Guyed mast, which carried 44 kt yield nuclear bomb "Smokey" (part of operation Plumbbob) on top until its explosion on August 31, 1957|
|Wooden structure||Mühlacker Wood Radio Tower||Germany||Mühlacker||190||623||completed in 1934, destroyed on April 6, 1945, by the Germans to prevent usage by the Allies, replaced by mast radiator|
|Masonry building||Mole Antonelliana||Italy||Torino||167.5||549.5||spire destroyed by a tornado in 1953 (rebuilt since then)|
|Pre-Industrial Era building||Lincoln Cathedral||United Kingdom||Lincoln||160||524||completed in 1311, spire blown off in 1549|
|Storage silo||Henninger Turm||Germany||Frankfurt||120||394||constructed in 1961, demolished in 2013|
|Category||Structure||Country||City||Architectural top (metres)||Architectural top (feet)|
|Mixed-Use*||Burj Khalifa||United Arab Emirates||Dubai||830||2,722|
|Office||One World Trade Center||United States||New York City||541||1,776|
|Residential||432 Park Avenue||United States||New York City||425.5||1,396|
|Hotel||JW Marriott Marquis Dubai||United Arab Emirates||Dubai||355||1,166|
|Educational||Moscow State University||Russia||Moscow||240||787|
|Religious||Hassan II Mosque||Morocco||Casablanca||210||689|
|Hospital||Outpatient Center, Houston Methodist Hospital||United States||Houston||156.05||511.8|
* Mixed-Use is defined as having three or more real estate uses (such as retail, office, hotel, etc.) that are physically and functionally integrated in a single property and are mutually supporting.
Prior to 1998, the tallest building status was determined by the height of the building to the top of its architectural elements including spires, but not including "temporary" structures (such as antennas or flagpoles), which could be added or changed relatively easily without requiring major changes to the building's design. Other criteria for height measurement were not used. For this reason, the originally 1,451-foot (442-meter) to rooftop or 1518 feet with original antennas Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was generally accepted as being the tallest building continuously after its completion in 1973, and being taller than both World Trade Center towers, in spite of the fact the 1 World Trade Center Tower (North Tower) possessed a higher pinnacle absolute height after it added its 360-foot (110 m) radio antenna (total height of 1730 feet or 527.3 meters) in 1978. The 1 World Trade Center building maintained a higher absolute height to antenna top until the Sears Tower enlarged its own radio antenna in 2000 to a total height of 1730 feet. However, the Willis Tower was always considered the taller building because it still possessed a greater height to its architectural top (1451 feet vs. 1362 feet), and thus its status as the world's tallest was generally not contested.
Other historic cases in which a building with a taller absolute pinnacle height was not considered the tallest building include, in 1905 when the former New York Times building or The Times Square Building (at 229 West 43rd Street in New York) was completed at 111 m (364 ft) to the roof with 128 m (420 ft) including a flagpole. That building was never considered to be taller than the 119-metre-high (390 ft) then-current record-holder Park Row Building of New York because a flagpole is not an integral architectural part of a building.
Prior to 1998 the tallest building status had been contested on occasion, but the disputes did not result in a change of the criteria used to determine the world's tallest building. An example was the rivalry between the Trump Building (then known as the Bank of Manhattan Building) and the Chrysler Building. The Bank of Manhattan Building employed only a short spire and was 927 ft (283 m) tall and had a much higher top occupied floor (the second category in the 1996 criteria for tallest building). In contrast, the Chrysler Building employed a very large 125-foot (38 m) spire secretly assembled inside the building to claim the title of world's tallest building with a total height of 1,048 feet (319 m), despite having a lower top occupied floor and a shorter height when both buildings' spires are not counted in their heights. Upset by Chrysler’s victory, Shreve & Lamb, the consulting architects of Bank of Manhattan building, wrote a newspaper article claiming that their building was actually the tallest, since it contained the world's highest usable floor. They pointed out that the observation deck in the Bank of Manhattan Building was nearly 100 feet (30 m) above the top floor in the Chrysler Building, whose surpassing spire was strictly ornamental and essentially inaccessible. However, the Chrysler Building was generally accepted as the tallest building in the world despite their protests.
However, none of the previous discrepancies or disputes in criteria to measure height (spires vs antennas, absolute pinnacle height vs. architectural height, height of highest occupied floor, etc.) resulted in the controversy that occurred upon the completion of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. The Petronas Towers possessed a higher architectural height (spires, but not antennas), but a lower absolute pinnacle height and lower top occupied floor than the previous record-holder Willis Tower in Chicago, United States. Counting buildings as structures with floors throughout, and with antenna masts excluded, Willis Tower was still considered the tallest at that time. When the Petronas Twin Towers were built, controversy arose because their spires extended nine metres higher than the roof of Willis Tower. Excluding their spires, the Petronas Towers are not taller than Willis Tower. At their convention in Chicago, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) found the Willis Tower to be the third-tallest building, and the Petronas Towers to be the world's tallest buildings. This decision caused a considerable amount of controversy in the news media because this was the first time a country outside the United States had held the world’s tallest building record. Therefore, the CTBUH revised their criteria and defined four categories in which the world's tallest building can be measured, by retaining the old criterion of height to architectural top, and adding three new categories:
The height-to-roof criterion was discontinued because relatively few modern tall buildings possess flat rooftops, making this criterion difficult to determine and measure. The CTBUH has further clarified their definitions of building height, including specific criteria concerning subbasements and ground level entrances (height measured from lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance rather than from a previously undefined "main entrance"), building completion (must be topped out both structurally and architecturally, fully clad, and able to be occupied), condition of the highest occupied floor (must be continuously used by people living or working and be conditioned, thus including observation decks, but not mechanical floors) and other aspects of tall buildings.
The height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance. At the time, the Willis Tower held first place in the second and third categories, the Petronas Towers held the first category, and the 1 World Trade Center building held the fourth with its antenna height to top of pinnacle. In 2000, however, a new antenna mast was placed on the Willis Tower, giving it hold of the fourth category. On April 20, 2004, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, was completed. Its completion gave it the world record for the first three categories. On July 21, 2007 it was announced that Burj Khalifa had surpassed Taipei 101 in height, reaching 512 m (1,680 ft).
Since being completed in early 2010, Burj Khalifa leads in all categories (the first building to do so). With a spire height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft), Burj Khalifa surpassed Taipei 101 as the tallest building to architectural detail and the Willis Tower as the tallest building to tip. It also leads in the category of highest occupied floor.
Before Burj Khalifa was completed, Willis Tower led in the fourth category with 527 m (1,729 ft), previously held by the World Trade Center until the extension of the Chicago tower's western broadcast antenna in 2000, over a year prior to the World Trade Center's destruction in 2001. Its antenna mast included, One World Trade Center measured 527.3 m (1,730 ft). The World Trade Center became the world's tallest building to be destroyed or demolished; indeed, its site entered the record books twice on September 11, 2001, in that category, replacing the Singer Building, which once stood a block from the World Trade Center site. A different superlative for skyscrapers is their number of floors. The World Trade Center set that at 110, and this was not surpassed for nearly four decades until the Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010.
Structures such as the CN Tower, the Ostankino Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower are excluded from these categories because they are not "habitable buildings", which are defined as frame structures made with floors and walls throughout.
|Date (event)||Architectural top||Highest occupied floor||Roof||Tip|
|2010: Burj Khalifa completed||Burj Khalifa||Burj Khalifa||Burj Khalifa|
|2009: CTBUH omits Height to Roof category||Taipei 101||Shanghai World Financial Center||Willis Tower|
|2008: Shanghai World Financial Center completed||Taipei 101||Shanghai World Financial Center||Shanghai World Financial Center||Willis Tower|
|2003: Taipei 101 completed||Taipei 101||Taipei 101||Taipei 101||Willis Tower|
|2000: Willis Tower antenna extension||Petronas Towers||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||Willis Tower|
|1998: Petronas Towers completed||Petronas Towers||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||World Trade Center|
|1996: CTBUH defines categories||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||World Trade Center|
Freestanding structures must not be supported by guy wires, the sea or other types of support. It therefore does not include guyed masts, partially guyed towers and drilling platforms but does include towers, skyscrapers (pinnacle height) and chimneys. (See also history of tallest skyscrapers.)
The world's tallest freestanding structure on land is defined as the tallest self-supporting artificial structure that stands above ground. This definition is different from that of world's tallest building or world's tallest structure based on the percentage of the structure that is occupied and whether or not it is self-supporting or supported by exterior cables. Likewise, this definition does not count structures that are built underground or on the seabed, such as the Petronius Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Visit world's tallest structure by category for a list of various other definitions.
The tallest freestanding structure on land is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building surpassed the height of the previous record holder, the 553.3 m (1,815 ft) CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, on September 12, 2007. It was completed in 2010, with final height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft).
The following is a list of structures that have held the title as the tallest freestanding structure on land.
|Record from||Record held (years)||Name and location||Constructed||Height (metres)||Height (feet)||Coordinates||Notes|
|c. 2650 BC||40||Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt||c. 2650 BC||62||203|
|c. 2610 BC||5||Meidum Pyramid in Egypt||c. 2610 BC||93.5||307||Shortly after completion Meidum Pyramid collapsed due to bad design/instability and is now 65 m (213 ft).|
|c. 2605 BC||5||Bent Pyramid in Egypt||c. 2605 BC||101.1||332||Angle of slope decreased during construction to avoid collapse.|
|c. 2600 BC||40||Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Egypt||c. 2600 BC||105||345|
|c. 2560 BC||3871||Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt||c. 2560 BC||146||481||By 1647, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft).|
|1311||238||Lincoln Cathedral in the United Kingdom||1092–1311||160||525||The central spire was destroyed in a storm in 1549. While the reputed height of 525 ft (160 m) is accepted by most sources, others consider it doubtful|
|1549||20||St. Mary's Church in Stralsund, Germany||1384–1478||151||495|
|1569||4||Beauvais Cathedral in France||1225 - 1604||153||502||Spire collapsed in 1573 (the cross was removed in 1572); today, the church stands at a height of 67.2 m (220.5 ft).|
|1573||94 (20+74)||St. Mary's Church in Stralsund, Germany||1384–1478||151||495||The spire burnt down after a lightning strike in 1647. The current spire's height is 104 m (341 ft).|
|1647||227||Strasbourg Cathedral in France||1439||142||469||By 1647, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft) hence Strasbourg Cathedral was higher.|
|1874||2||St. Nikolai in Hamburg, Germany||1846–1874||147||483|
|1876||4||Cathédrale Notre Dame in Rouen, France||1202–1876||151||495|
|1880||4||Cologne Cathedral in Germany||1248–1880||157||515||;|
|1884||5||Washington Monument in Washington D.C., United States||1884||169||555||The world's tallest all-stone structure, as well as the tallest obelisk-form structure.|
|1889||41||Eiffel Tower in Paris, France||1889||300||986||First structure to exceed 300 metres in height. The addition of a telecommunications tower in the 1950s brought the overall height to 324 m (1,063 ft).|
|1930||1||Chrysler Building in New York, United States||1928–1930||319||1,046|
|1931||36||Empire State Building in New York, United States||1930–1931||381||1,250||First building with 100+ stories. The addition of a pinnacle and antennas later increased its overall height to 448.7 m (1,472 ft). This was subsequently lowered to 443.1 m (1,454 ft).|
|1967||8||Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Soviet Union||1963–1967||540||1,762||Remains the tallest in Europe. Fire in 2000 led to extensive renovation.|
|1975||32||CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada||1973–1976||553||1,815||Remains the tallest in the Western Hemisphere|
|2007||present||Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates||2004–2009||829.8||2,722||Holder of world's tallest freestanding structure. Topped out at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in 2009.|
Notable mentions include the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, built in the third century BC and estimated between 115–135 m (377–443 ft). It was the world's tallest non-pyramidal structure for many centuries. Another notable mention includes the Jetavanaramaya stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, which was built in the third century, and was similarly tall at 122 m (400 ft). These were both the world's tallest or second-tallest non-pyramidal structure for over a thousand years.
The tallest secular building between the collapse of the Pharos and the erection of the Washington Monument may have been the Torre del Mangia in Siena, which is 102 m (335 ft) tall, and was constructed in the first half of the fourteenth century, and the 97-metre-tall (318 ft) Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna, also Italy, built between 1109 and 1119.
Timeline of development of world's highest observation deck since inauguration of Eiffel Tower.
|Record from||Record held (years)||Name and location||Constructed||Height above ground||Notes|
|1889||42||Eiffel Tower, Paris||1889||275||902||Two lower observation decks at 57 and 115 m (187 and 377 ft).|
|1931||42||Empire State Building, New York City||1931||369||1,250||On the 102nd floor - a second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 m (1,050 ft).|
|1973||1||World Trade Center, New York City||1973||399.4||1,310||Indoor observatory on the 107th floor of South Tower opened on April 4, 1973. Destroyed on September 11, 2001|
|1974||1||Willis Tower, Chicago||1974||412.4||1,353||103rd floor Skydeck opened on June 22, 1974|
|1975||1||World Trade Center, New York City||1973||419.7||1,377||Outdoor observatory on the South Tower rooftop opened on December 15, 1975. Destroyed on September 11, 2001|
|1976||32||CN Tower, Toronto||1976||446.5||1,464.9||Two further observation decks at 342 and 346 m (1,122 and 1,135 ft).|
|2008||3||Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai||2008||474||1,555||Two further observation decks at 423 and 439 m (1,388 and 1,440 ft).|
|2011||3||Canton Tower, Guangzhou||2011||488||1,601||The rooftop outdoor observation deck opened in December 2011. There are also several other indoor observation decks in the tower, the highest at 433.2 m (1,421 ft).|
|2014||2||Burj Khalifa, Dubai||2010||555||1,821||Opened on October 15, 2014 on the 148th floor. There is another observation deck at 452.1 m (1,483 ft) on the 124th floor, which has been open since the building was opened to the public.|
|2016||present||Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China||2015||561||1,841||Opened on July 1, 2016.|
Higher observation decks have existed on mountain tops or cliffs, rather than on tall structures. The Grand Canyon Skywalk, constructed in 2007, protrudes 21 m (70 ft) over the west rim of the Grand Canyon and is approximately 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above the Colorado River, making it the highest of these types of structures.
As most of the tallest structures are guyed masts, here is a timeline of world's tallest guyed masts, since the beginning of radio technology.
As many large guyed masts were destroyed at the end of World War II, the dates for the years between 1945 and 1950 may be incorrect. If Wusung Radio Tower survived World War II, it was the tallest guyed structure shortly after World War II.
|Record from||Record held (years)||Name and location||Constructed||Height||Coordinates||Notes|
|1913||7||Central mast of Eilvese transmitter, Eilvese, Germany||1913||250||820||Mast was divided in 145 m by an insulator, demolished in 1931|
|1920||3||Central masts of Nauen Transmitter Station, Nauen, Germany||1920||260||853||2 masts, demolished in 1946|
|1923||10||Masts of Ruiselede transmitter, Ruiselede, Belgium||1923||287||942||?||8 masts, destroyed in 1940|
|1933||6||Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary||1933||314||1,031||Blaw-Knox Tower, insulated against ground, destroyed in 1945; rebuilt|
|1939||7||Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster, Herzberg (Elster), Germany||1939||335||1,099||Insulated against ground, dismantled 1946/1947|
|1946||2||Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary||1946||314||1,031||Blaw-Knox Tower, Insulated against ground, rebuilt after destruction in 1945|
|1948||1||WIVB-TV Tower, Colden, New York, USA||1948||321.9||1,056|
|1949||1||Longwave transmitter Raszyn, Raszyn, Poland||1949||335||1,099||Insulated against ground|
|1950||4||Forestport Tower, Forestport, New York, USA||1950||371.25||1,218||Insulated against ground, demolished|
|1954||2||Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma (AKA KWTV Transmission Tower), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA||1954||480.5||1,576|
|1956||3||KOBR-TV Tower, Caprock, New Mexico, USA||1956||490.7||1,610||Collapsed in 1960; rebuilt|
|1959||1||WGME TV Tower, Raymond, Maine, USA||1959||495||1,624|
|1960||2||KFVS TV Mast, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA||1960||511.1||1,677|
|1962||1||WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower, Cusseta, Georgia, USA||1962||533||1,749|
|1963||0||WIMZ-FM-Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA||1963||534.01||1,752|
|1963||11||KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA||1963||628.8||2,063|
|1974||17||Warsaw Radio Mast, Gąbin, Poland||1974||646.4||2,121||Mast radiator insulated against ground, collapsed in 1991|
|1991||present||KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA||1963||628.8||2,063|
Towers include observation towers, monuments and other structures not generally considered to be "habitable buildings", they are meant for "regular access by humans, but not for living in or office work, and are self-supporting or freestanding, which means no guy-wires for support", meaning it excludes from this list of continuously habitable buildings and skyscrapers as well as radio and TV masts.
Bridge towers or pylons, chimneys, transmission towers, and most large statues allow human access for maintenance, but not as part of their normal operation, and are therefore not considered to be towers.
The Tokyo Skytree, completed in February 2012, is 634 m (2,080 ft), making it the tallest tower, and second-tallest freestanding structure in the world.
The following is a list of structures that have historically held the title as the tallest towers in the world.
|280 BC||1180 AD||Pharos Lighthouse||Alexandria, Egypt||122 m|
|1180||1240||Malmesbury Abbey Tower||Malmesbury, UK||131.3 m|
|1240||1311||Tower of Old St Paul's Cathedral||London, UK||150 m|
|1311||1549||Tower of Lincoln Cathedral||Lincoln, UK||159.7 m|
|1549||1647||Tower of St Mary's church||Stralsund, Germany||151 m|
|1647||1874||Tower of Strasbourg Cathedral||Strasbourg, France||142 m|
|1874||1876||Tower of St. Nikolai||Hamburg, Germany||147 m|
|1876||1880||Tower of Rouen Cathedral||Rouen, France||151 m|
|1880||1889||Tower of Cologne Cathedral||Cologne, Germany||157.38 m|
|1889||1958||Eiffel Tower||Paris, France||312.3 m|
|1958||1967||Tokyo Tower||Tokyo, Japan||332.6 m|
|1967||1975||Ostankino Tower||Moscow, Russia||540.1 m|
|1975||2010||CN Tower||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||553.33 m|
|2010||2011||Canton Tower||Guangzhou, China||600 m|
|2011||present||Tokyo Skytree||Tokyo, Japan||634 m|
The list categories are:
|Rank||Name and location||Year
|1||KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, United States||1963||629||2,064||–|
|2||KXJB-TV mast, Galesburg, North Dakota, United States||1998||628||2,060||–|
|3||KXTV/KOVR Tower, Walnut Grove, California, United States||2000||625||2,051||–|
|Structures (media supported)|
|1||Petronius Platform, Gulf of Mexico||2000||610||2,000||–|
|2||Baldpate Platform, Gulf of Mexico||1998||580||1,900||–|
|3||Bullwinkle Platform, Gulf of Mexico||1989||529||1,736||–|
|1||Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates||2009||829.8||2,722||163|
|2||Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo, Japan||2012||634||2,080||–|
|3||Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China||2015||632||2,073||128|
|4||Abraj Al Bait, Makkah, Saudi Arabia||2011||601||1,972||120|
|5||Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China||2016||599||1,965||115|
|6||Goldin Finance 117, Tianjin, China||2016||597||1,959||117|
|7||Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China||2010||600||1,969||–|
|8||Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea||2016||555||1,821||123|
|9||CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada||1976||553||1,814||–|
|10||One World Trade Center, New York City, USA||2013||541.3||1,776||104|
|11||Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia||1967||540||1,770||–|
|12||Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China||2016||530||1,739||111|
|13||Willis Tower, Chicago, United States||1974||527||1,729||108|
|14||Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan||2004||509||1,670||101|
|1||Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates||2010||828||2,717||163|
|2||Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China||2015||632||2,073||128|
|3||Abraj Al Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia||2011||601||1,972||120|
|4||Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China||2016||599||1,965||115|
|5||Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea||2016||555||1,821||123|
|6||One World Trade Center, New York City, USA||2013||541.3||1,776||104|
|7||Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China||2016||530||1,739||111|
|8||Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan||2004||509||1,670||101|
|9||Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China||2008||492||1,614||101|
|10||International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong||2010||484||1,588||118|
|11||Changsha IFS Tower T1, Changsha, China||2017||452.1||1,483||88|
|12||Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||1998||451.9||1,483||88|
|13||Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China||2009||450||1,480||89|
|13||Suzhou IFS, Suzhou, China||2017||450||1,476||92|
The tall spire of timber, covered with lead, which originally crowned this tower reached an altitude, it is said, of 525 feet; but this is doubtful. This spire was blown down during a tempest in January 1547-8.
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