The Empire State Building celebrated its 90th anniversary on Saturday with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio attending a special lighting ceremony at the iconic landmark. The world-famous skyscraper was officially opened on May 01, 1931 when President Herbert Hoover symbolically flipped a switch in the White House, illuminating the building’s lights for the very first time. Shortly after it opened, The New York Times
, builders and real estate speculators predicted that the Empire State Building would remain the world’s tallest building for many years and they were right. It held that title until 1970 when it was surpassed by the World Trade Center’s still under construction North Tower. Today, the Empire State building remains the 46th tallest building worldwide.
That’s according to data from The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat who also released their latest report on global skyscraper construction at the beginning of the year. Numerous industries were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic last year and the construction sector was no different with many projects grinding to a halt. 106 buildings 200 meters or taller were completed around the world in 2020, a 20% decline on the 133 skyscrapers topped out in 2019. Despite the Middle East and China being the hotspots of 21st century skyscraper production, the tallest building constructed in 2020 was the Central Park Tower in New York City at 472 meters. It was the first time in five years that the tallest completed building was not in China and the first time since 2014 that the tallest completed building was in the United States when One World Trade Center was finished.
Despite New York City boasting 2020’s tallest building, nowhere competes with China when it comes to skyscraper construction. Even though Covid-19 wrought economic havoc across the globe last year, China managed to complete 56 buildings 200 meters or taller. The United Arab Emirates was the second most prolific skyscraper builder last year with 12 topped out while the United States came third with 10 completions. At city level, Dubai was home to all twelve of the UAE’s skyscraper completions last year, making it the world’s leading city for the construction of buildings 200 meters or higher. It was followed by the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Shenyang with nine and eight completions, respectively. The Big Apple was in fourth place with five completed skyscraper projects in 2020.
*Click below to enlarge (charted by Statista)
Nuber of buildings completed that are 200 meters in height or greater in 2020.