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May 22, 2018

A look at the tallest buildings ever demolished

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has recently released a new research study titled “Tallest Demolished Buildings” that examines 100 of the tallest buildings ever to have been dismantled by their owners. The report confirms that, if JPMorgan Chase continues with their plans, SOM’s 270 Park Avenue in New York City would become the tallest building ever conventionally demolished, as well as the first over 200 meters in height.

The study showed that in most cases, the buildings were torn down to make way for newer high-rises, as was the case for the current tallest building ever to be demolished, the Singer Building in New York City. The Singer Building stood 187 meters and 41 stories tall until it was torn down in 1968 to make way for One Liberty Plaza.

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Not surprisingly, land constraints in dense urban environments along with greater financial potential are two key factors in the decision to demolish a building. CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood said of the study, “We should 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.” However, according to the study, the average lifespan of the 100 tallest demolished buildings is only 41 years.

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