What goes up, must come down. And, when it comes to tall buildings, often times the reason they come down is so a taller building can rise from the rubble, at least according to a new study from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). It is the concrete jungle’s version of the circle of life.
The recently released study, entitled Tallest Demolished Buildings, examines the 100 tallest buildings in history to have been dismantled by their owners, and some of the reasons for doing so.
The Singer Building in New York City is currently the tallest building ever conventionally demolished. The building stood 187 meters and 41 stories tall and was torn down in 1968 to make room for One Liberty Plaza. The 171-meter-tall CPF Building in Singapore and the 160-meter-tall Morrison Hotel in Chicago round out the top three.
Most of the world’s 100 tallest demolished buildings were torn down in order to build even taller high-rises. The average lifespan of the 100 tallest demolished buildings is only 41 years.
However, despite the possibility of the demolition of 270 Park Avenue in New York, which would become the first building over 200 meters to ever be conventionally demolished, you shouldn’t expect to see taller and taller buildings being demolished after just 41 years anytime soon.
Photo: Marshall Gerometta.
“There are currently more than 1,300 buildings of over 200 meters in height around the globe, and counting. Considering the tallest demolished building to date was only 187 meters tall, there’s really no precedent for tearing down 200- meter-plus towers, “said CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood in a release. “We should perhaps thus be thinking of tall buildings as perpetual entities with lifecycles potentially exceeding 100 or 200 years, while designing them in such a way that they can be creatively adapted for potential future uses.”
The United States accounts for 53% of the world’s 100 tallest demolished buildings. More than a quarter of the 100 tallest demolished buildings were built between 1890 and 1920. High-rises built in the 1970s accounted for 24%.
Top 10 tallest conventionally demolished buildings:
Singer Building, New York City, 187 m
CPF Building, Singapore, 171 m
Morrison Hotel, Chicago, 160 m
Deutsche Bank, New York City, 158 m
UIC Building, Singapore, 152 m
One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, 150 m
Menara Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, 150 m
City Investing Building, New York City, 148 m
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, 142 m
Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, Tokyo, 141 m