Tuesday Turnip: 10 Really Tall Buildings

David K. Israel

It's time for another whimsical Tuesday Turnip search wherein I type a random phrase and we see what kind of interesting factoids "turn-up."

As always with this feature, the _floss is not responsible for accuracy. This is a random Internet search. If you know one of these facts to be untrue, by all means, let the world know in the comments below. Today I typed in "the tallest building" unearthing the following:

1. Any day now Burj Dubai will overtake Taipei 101 and become the world's tallest building. It's already significantly higher than the Chicago Sears Tower (not counting the spire), and is quickly approaching the title of the highest concrete free-standing structure.

2. THE PARK ROW BUILDING Tallest building in the world, 1899-1908. This 32-storey, twin-domed building rises to the height of 117 m; it took the title of the world's tallest building from the neighbouring, 26-storey St. Paul Building (95 m), completed to the "Newspaper Row" only a few months earlier.

3. Shanghai's World Financial Center, the tallest building in China upon completion, defied all known physics yesterday afternoon when it caught fire but did not collapse, a modern day miracle in light of the commonly accepted premise that since 9/11, all steel buildings that suffer limited fire damage implode within two hours.

4. Library Tower (the U.S. Bank Tower) could soon be the second tallest building west of the Mississippi - San Francisco is considering erecting a 1,200-foot tall office tower, displacing L.A.'s 1,018-foot tall Library Tower as the tallest building west of the Mississippi.

5. The Taipei 101 - On October 17, 2003, the pinnacle was fit on top of Taipei 101 and after this the skyscraper became the new tallest building in the world, with a total height of 509 metres (1,671 feet).

6. THE WOOLWORTH BUILDING - Tallest building in the world, 1913-1930 - Rising from a 27-storey base, with limestone and granite lower floors, the tower is clad in white terra-cotta and capped with an elaborate set-back Gothic top, with the spire rising to the height of 241.5 m. It was to be the tallest building in the world for 17 years, until the completion of the 40 Wall Street.

7. Empire State Building-Tallest building in the world, 1931-1970 - Steel frame 102 floors, 1252 feet, 381 meters high. Effective use of setbacks to emphasize tower. The building is clad in Indiana limestone and granite, with the mullions lined in shiny aluminium. There are in all 6,500 windows, with spandrels sandblasted to blend their tone to that of the windows, visually creating the vertical striping on the facade. The windows and spandrels are also flush with the limestone facing, an aesthetic and economic decision.

8. 1973 Sears Tower - World's Tallest Building Until 1996 - Chicago became home to the world's tallest building in 1973 when the Sears Tower was topped off. The Sears Tower remained the tallest building in the world until February 13, 1996. The Sears Tower continues to be the tallest building in North America.

9. The Petronas Twin Towers (also known as the Petronas Towers or Twin Towers), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are the world's tallest twin buildings. They were the world's tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004 if measured from the level of the main entrance to the structural top, the original height reference used by the US-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat from 1969 (three additional height categories were introduced as the tower neared completion in 1996).

10. Ryugyong Hotel - The construction of the 330 m tall tower in Pyongyang, North Korea began in 1987. It has a total 360,000 m2 floor space and 105 stories. The building should have been opened in 1989, by that time it could have been the tallest hotel in the world and the 7th largest skyscraper. North Korea have [sic] spent ~$750 million or 2% of the country's GDP on the Ryugyong Hotel.

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