The Never-Ending Race to Build the World’s Tallest Structure

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Humans have always been ambitious in everything they do. The same applies to the construction of buildings, particularly skyscrapers. There have been a number of motivating factors behind making a leap higher and higher into the sky with each such structure. These factors range all the way from design, nationalism, and commerce to democracy and religion. Many different skyscrapers have enjoyed the label of being the tallest building in the world. Let’s have a look at some of the record-holding structures, from Dubai all the way to Giza.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Considered the tallest structure from 1889 to 1929, the Eiffel Tower was constructed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel who launched it at the World Fair of 1889. Initially simply named the “300-Meter Tower,” the height of the tower is known to change with the contraction and expansion of the iron depending on the temperature, increasing in summer and decreasing in the winter.

The structure’s metal has been preserved mostly by hand painting it 19 times, also leading to a change in color. Originally reddish brown, chestnut, and yellow, the tower got its now-signature “Eiffel Tower brown” shade in the year 1968.

The Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt

Also known as Khufu, referring to the Egyptian pharaoh it was built for, it is the largest among all of the pyramids seen in Giza standing at 455 feet and originally boasted a height of 481.4 feet.

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At its peak, the pyramid donned a shimmering white shade, however, over time, the limestone casing eroded, leaving it the sand-colored behemoth it has now come to be recognized as.

The Empire State Building in New York City, USA

Taking over its Midtown neighbor after just a bit more than a year’s time, the Empire State Building enjoyed the label of the tallest building from 1931 to 1970.

As the US’s top tourism attraction, the tower’s Deco Lobby, along with the viewing platforms at the top, attracts about 4 million visitors annually.

The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Built in 1996 to headquarter Petronas, the Malaysian oil company, the twin towers are at a staggering height of 1483 feet. On the 41st and 42nd floors, they are connected by a two-story-tall bridge.

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A traditional Malaysian Islamic shape, an eight-pointed star, is the inspiration for the shape of the towers’ footprints, and the two are stabilized by a foundation 400 feet below ground.