A skyscraper is a very tall building, usually more than 152 metres (500 feet) in height. A highrise is another name that people call skyscrapers. Skyscrapers are almost always found in cities. Many large cities have many skyscrapers such as; New York City, Chicago, London, Paris, Sydney, Beijing, Berlin, Toronto, Moscow, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore.
For example, New York City, a large city in the USA, has a famous skyscraper called the Empire State Building. In the late 20th century, people started building skyscrapers in cities like London, that did not have many tall buildings in the past. In Chicago, the first skyscraper was built. About 90 years later then-called Sears Tower was built claiming the world's tallest building until the late 1990s.
The current world tallest building is the Burj Khalifa.
Originally, the word skyscraper meant a tall sail on a sailing ship. Over time, the word's meaning has changed, and today it means a tall building. Until the nineteenth century, buildings taller than six stories tall were not common. Tall buildings made of weak materials would fall down. In addition, people did not like walking up many steps and running water could only be brought up to fifty feet (15m) high.
Better technology helped make skyscrapers more common. Stronger building materials such as steel and reinforced concrete were developed, so stronger buildings could be made. Water pumps brought water up to heights above fifty feet.
The first skyscraper, The Home Insurance Building, was built in Chicago, Illinois, USA. William LeBaron Jenney designed it. The building, ten stories high, was built in 1884 and 1885. It was destroyed in 1931 because they wanted to build another building in its previous place.
- List of tallest structures in the world
- List of tallest buildings in Australia
- List of tallest buildings in Thailand
- List of tallest buildings in the United States
Images for kids
The Flatiron building completed in 1902 in New York City
Modern Skyscrapers in Downtown Los Angeles
The Willis Tower in Chicago showing the bundled tube frame design
30 St Mary Axe in London is an example of a modern environmentally friendly skyscraper.
The Wainwright Building, a 10-story red brick office building in St. Louis, Missouri, built in 1891
The Empire State Building in New York City. Completed in 1931, it was the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years.
Taipei 101, formerly the world's tallest skyscraper, was the first to exceed the half-kilometer mark.
The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Skyscraper Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.