I found out today that, after work on Thursday, my fellow summer associates and I will be attending a summer-clerk party (with summers from various other Phoenix firms) at the Arizona Club on the 37th floor of the 40-story Chase Tower in Phoenix — the tallest building in Arizona.
I love tall buildings, so this got me thinking…
Once upon a time — as of June 1990, to be specific — I could say that I’d been up 4 of the 7 tallest buildings in the world: #1 (Sears Tower), #3 (Two World Trade Center), #4 (Empire State Building), and #7 (John Hancock Center). This was a source of considerable pride for me, and I hoped to add to my total and someday complete the Top 10.
Alas, much has changed in the last 16 years. As this list of the world’s 200 tallest buildings shows, a whole slew of skyscrapers have been constructed in Asia over the last decade-and-a-half, demoting the Sears Tower to #4 in the world, the Empire State Building to #9, and the John Hancock Center to #16. And of course, both towers of the World Trade Center — Tower One, which I hadn’t visited, and Tower Two, which I had — were destroyed in the terrorist atrocity on September 11, 2001.
As a result, I can now claim to have visited only 3 of the top 16 buildings in the world. Harumph. And Thursday’s party won’t put a dent in that; at 483 feet, the Chase Tower doesn’t even come close to making the Top 200 list. (Building #200 is 743 feet.)
That said, I have visited the world’s tallest “free-standing structure”: the CN Tower in Toronto, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. But alas, even that distinction won’t last for long: Burj Dubai is scheduled to overtake the CN Tower for tallest structure (and Taipei 101 for tallest building) in 2008.
On the bright side, there may be a new really tall building in Chicago for me to visit soon: the Fordham Spire, due to be completed in 2009 (or perhaps 2010; more info here). And there’s also the Freedom Tower in New York to look forward to, circa 2012. Of course, by then, there will probably be about 800 new tall buildings in Asia… :)