flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

The 100 tallest buildings ever conventionally demolished

High-rise Construction

The 100 tallest buildings ever conventionally demolished

The list comes from a recent CTBUH study.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | May 18, 2018
Tallest Demolished Buildings

Courtesy CTBUH

What goes up, must come down. And, when it comes to tall buildings, often times the reason they come down is so a taller building can rise from the rubble, at least according to a new study from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). It is the concrete jungle’s version of the circle of life.

The recently released study, entitled Tallest Demolished Buildings, examines the 100 tallest buildings in history to have been dismantled by their owners, and some of the reasons for doing so.

The Singer Building in New York City is currently the tallest building ever conventionally demolished. The building stood 187 meters and 41 stories tall and was torn down in 1968 to make room for One Liberty Plaza. The 171-meter-tall CPF Building in Singapore and the 160-meter-tall Morrison Hotel in Chicago round out the top three.

Most of the world’s 100 tallest demolished buildings were torn down in order to build even taller high-rises. The average lifespan of the 100 tallest demolished buildings is only 41 years.

However, despite the possibility of the demolition of 270 Park Avenue in New York, which would become the first building over 200 meters to ever be conventionally demolished, you shouldn’t expect to see taller and taller buildings being demolished after just 41 years anytime soon.


270 park Avenue in new YorkPhoto: Marshall Gerometta.


“There are currently more than 1,300 buildings of over 200 meters in height around the globe, and counting. Considering the tallest demolished building to date was only 187 meters tall, there’s really no precedent for tearing down 200- meter-plus towers, “said CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood in a release. “We should perhaps thus 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.”

The United States accounts for 53% of the world’s 100 tallest demolished buildings. More than a quarter of the 100 tallest demolished buildings were built between 1890 and 1920. High-rises built in the 1970s accounted for 24%.


demolished buildings


Top 10 tallest conventionally demolished buildings:

Singer Building, New York City, 187 m

CPF Building, Singapore, 171 m

Morrison Hotel, Chicago, 160 m

Deutsche Bank, New York City, 158 m

UIC Building, Singapore, 152 m

One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, 150 m

Menara Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, 150 m

City Investing Building, New York City, 148 m

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, 142 m

Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, Tokyo, 141 m

Related Stories

Affordable Housing | Mar 14, 2023

3 affordable housing projects that overcame building obstacles

These three developments faced certain obstacles during their building processes—from surrounding noise suppression to construction methodology.

High-rise Construction | Feb 15, 2023

Bjarke Ingels' 'leaning towers' concept wins Qianhai Prisma Towers design competition

A pair of sloped high-rises—a 300-meter residential tower and a 250-meter office tower—highlight the Qianhai Prisma Towers development in Qianhai, Shenzhen, China. BIG recently won the design competition for the project.

Affordable Housing | Feb 15, 2023

2023 affordable housing roundup: 20+ multifamily projects

In our latest call for entries, Building Design+Construction collected over 20 multifamily projects with a focus on affordable housing. Here is a comprehensive list of all projects in alphabetical order.

Multifamily Housing | Feb 11, 2023

8 Gold and Platinum multifamily projects from the NAHB's BALA Awards

This year's top BALA multifamily winners showcase leading design trends, judged by eight industry professionals from across the country.

Multifamily Housing | Jan 19, 2023

Chicago multifamily high-rise inspired by industrial infrastructure and L tracks

The recently unveiled design of The Row Fulton Market, a new Chicago high-rise residential building, draws inspiration from industrial infrastructure and L tracks in the historic Fulton Market District neighborhood. The 43-story, 300-unit rental property is in the city’s former meatpacking district, and its glass-and-steel façade reflects the arched support beams of the L tracks.

Products and Materials | Jan 18, 2023

6 innovative products for multifamily developments

Here are six innovative products for various multifamily developments, including a condominium-wide smart electrical system, heavy-duty aluminum doors, and prefabricated panels.

Cladding and Facade Systems | Dec 20, 2022

Acoustic design considerations at the building envelope

Acentech's Ben Markham identifies the primary concerns with acoustic performance at the building envelope and offers proven solutions for mitigating acoustic issues.

High-rise Construction | Dec 7, 2022

SOM reveals its design for Singapore’s tallest skyscraper

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has revealed its design for 8 Shenton Way—a mixed-use tower that will stand 63 stories and 305 meters (1,000 feet) high, becoming Singapore’s tallest skyscraper. The design team also plans to make the building one of Asia’s most sustainable skyscrapers. The tower incorporates post-pandemic design features.

Mass Timber | Aug 30, 2022

Mass timber construction in 2022: From fringe to mainstream

Two Timberlab executives discuss the market for mass timber construction and their company's marketing and manufacturing strategies. Sam Dicke, Business Development Manager, and Erica Spiritos, Director of Preconstruction, Timberlab, speak with BD+C's John Caulfield. 

Giants 400 | Aug 22, 2022

Top 90 Construction Management Firms for 2022

CBRE, Alfa Tech, Jacobs, and Hill International head the rankings of the nation's largest construction management (as agent) and program/project management firms for nonresidential and multifamily buildings work, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: