The history of skyscrapers in New York City began with the completion of the World Building in 1890; the structure rose to 348 feet (106 m).Though not the city’s first high-rise, it was the first building to surpass the 284-foot (87 m) spire of Trinity Church. The World Building, which stood as the tallest in the city until 1899, was demolished in 1955 to allow for the construction of an expanded entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York has played a prominent role in the development of the skyscraper; since 1890, eleven structures in the city having held the title of world’s tallest building. New York City went through a very early high-rise construction boom that lasted from the early 1910s through the early 1930s, during which 16 of the city’s 82 tallest buildings were built—including the Woolworth Building, the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, each of which was the tallest in the world at the time of its completion, the last remaining so for forty years.


A second skyscraper boom began in the early 1960s. Since then, the city has seen the completion of nearly 70 structures rising at least 600 feet (183 m) high, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center. One WTC also known as the North Tower, was the tallest building in the world from 1972 until 1973 and the tallest building in New York City until 2001.[19] The North Tower, as well as the other six buildings in the World Trade Center complex, were destroyed in the September 11 attacks of 2001.[20] One World Trade Center began construction in 2006 as the lead building of the new World Trade Center complex; upon its topping out in May 2013, the 1,776-foot (541 m) skyscraper surpassed the Willis Tower to become the tallest building in the United States.