Remembering Skyscraper Day in NYC

09/05/2018 By Kadie Yale

Second only to Hong Kong, New York City has the largest array of skyscrapers in the world that make up it’s beautiful, well-known skyline. As of today, the populous city contains 264 completed skyscrapers that stand at 150 meters or taller, and eight completed buildings that stand at 300-plus meters, with even more under construction.

Over fifty percent of these buildings are used for offices and many have found their ways in movies, news headlines and more, driving them to be popular tourist destinations and great photo opportunities.

In reflection of Skyscraper Day on September 3 (also this year’s Labor Day), I took a walk on the busy streets of New York to search out what many others who visit the city seek – iconic, ridiculously tall skyscrapers.

30 Rockefeller Plaza

In 1916, a zoning resolution was put into place in NYC that stated all tall buildings must step back every so many feet in the air as officials were scared that buildings that went straight up would block out the sun. This ordnance (and the design of buildings like Rockefeller) helped shape the starburst pattern popular in the Art Deco period.


Originally known as the Fuller Building, the Flatiron was the tallest building in NYC at 20 floors when it was completed in 1902. It's actually a triangular shape called "flat iron" because it looks like a clothes iron. The shape is created because Broadway, which is actually a path that the local native Americans took, cuts diagonally across the city. Wherever the street crosses an avenue, a park was built. In this case, Madison, but it creates a triangle-shaped piece of land as well, which is what Flatiron happened to be built on.

Central Park Tower

Located on West 57th Street, this building will be one of the tallest and thinnest skyscrapers in Manhattan. Super tall, thin skyscrapers are becoming more popular, and what I think is fascinating is that they have tuned mass dampers in them, which are massive hydraulic weights that shift when the wind blows if there's a hurricane or an earthquake to help keep the building from swaying. With 95 floors and a proposed height of 1,550 meters, construction plans to be completed in 2020.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Did you know that its height represents the year the Declaration of Independence was signed? With its 408-foot spire, it became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere in 2013.