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Most impressive skylines in America by the numbers

  • Stacker
    1/ Stacker

    Most impressive skylines in America by the numbers

    The world’s first skyscraper was erected in 1885. An iron skeleton towering over traditional masonry, the building stood 10 stories tall in downtown Chicago and shattered the belief that tall buildings, previously made entirely from stone, would have to get thicker and heavier to support their own weight. Although that first skyscraper no longer stands, its legacy lives on.

    Today, skyscrapers are a commonplace sight in bustling cities. Technological improvements in building techniques have raised the threshold of stories from 10 to at least 40, casting a 100-foot shadow over skyscrapers of the 19th century. Skyscrapers are a symbol of status and wealth, as well as an efficient way to house large offices or provide living space to highly populated places.

    To find the U.S. cities with the best skylines, Stacker looked at data from The Skyscraper Center and found the number of buildings in each city that stood at or above 150 meters (just under a tenth of a mile). Cities were then ranked by that number. The height of those buildings was also summed, and in the case of a tie, the city with the greater cumulative height won.

  • Ed Schipul // Wikimedia Commons
    2/ Ed Schipul // Wikimedia Commons

    #35. Austin, TX

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 453 meters

    Austin is one of the few cities in America that manages to mix good barbecue with artistic trends and natural beauty. A unique blend of country and hipster, it’s fitting that Austin is on the tail end of a list like this, as the sights of the city lie in grottos and underground music venues, not downtown.

  • Joe Wolf // Flickr
    3/ Joe Wolf // Flickr

    #34. Baltimore, MD

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 453 meters

    If Baltimore could speak, it would say it’s proud not to be too high on this list. Although an incredible city, Baltimore, which ranks alongside Austin, Texas, retains distinctly small-town vibes: passers by are friendlier than in most cities, and residents are fiercely proud of their city’s history.

     

  • Steven Weis // Flickr
    4/ Steven Weis // Flickr

    #33. Cincinnati, OH

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 479 meters

    There are many things you should learn about Cincinnati, but there’s only one you need to know: baseball is a religion. It may seem like that’s the case with many cities, but Cincinnatians feel that as the proud owners of the first professional baseball team in American history, they deserve to take their fandom to the next level.

  • David // Flickr
    5/ David // Flickr

    #32. Fort Worth, TX

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 489 meters

    As the fifth-largest city in Texas, Fort Worth is no small place to live, but any resident will tell you it has the Southern hospitality of a town a tenth its size. Home to universities such as Texas Christian University and Texas A&M University School of Law, Fort Worth is also known for its world-class museums.

  • Mark Goebel // Flickr
    6/ Mark Goebel // Flickr

    #31. Hartford, CT

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 490 meters

    Mark Twain once wrote about Hartford, “of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, this is the chief.” Today, as Connecticut’s capital, Hartford is the headquarters for many insurance giants like Aetna.

  • Pixabay
    7/ Pixabay

    #30. Indianapolis, IN

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 500 meters

    The skyline may be something to see, but good luck getting downtown on the day of the Indy 500. Home to the world’s largest single-day sporting event, Indianapolis is also a good city for history buffs: according to the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis is second in the nation only to Washington, D.C. in the number of monuments dedicated to veterans and people killed in wars.

  • Pixabay
    8/ Pixabay

    #29. Milwaukee, WI

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 525 meters

    One thing that makes Milwaukee so unique is its Scandinavian influence. Large waves of German immigrants towards the end of the 19th century had a lasting impact on Milwaukee, which to this day holds annual celebrations such as Oktoberfest to honor its cultural influences.

  • Greater Oklahoma City Chamber // Wikimedia Commons
    9/ Greater Oklahoma City Chamber // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. Oklahoma City, OK

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 680 meters

    Cattle, oil, tornadoes and an 11-day-long state fair are just some of the things to expect when traveling to Oklahoma City. The city’s cultural attractions grow each year, but a good steak is still likely to win out over a trip to the museum any day.

  • Tomcio77 // Flickr
    10/ Tomcio77 // Flickr

    #27. San Diego, CA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 717 meters

    Sunny almost every day of the year, San Diego is a city for cycling, surfing, hiking, great fish tacos and occasional frustration over sports teams. San Diego may be a paradise for anyone comfortable fitting the word “dude” into every sentence.

  • Sam valadi // Flickr
    11/ Sam valadi // Flickr

    #26. St. Louis, MO

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 903 meters

    Located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, St. Louis developed as a major port city in the 1800s. Major corporations such as Boeing Defense and Panera Bread are headquartered there today, making a lasting imprint on the city’s power as a trading force.

  • Tim Evanson //Flickr
    12/ Tim Evanson //Flickr

    #25. Cleveland, OH

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 4

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 640 meters

    Ohio’s second-most populous city, Cleveland is home to one very important thing: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland disc jockey Alan Reed is actually credited with introducing the term “rock and roll.” Generally affordable and surrounded by natural beauty, Cleveland is well worth a visit.

  • thepipe26 // Flickr
    13/ thepipe26 // Flickr

    #24. New Orleans, LA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 4

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 705 meters

    New Orleans visitors can make their trip especially memorable by throwing a parade for themselves. Parading aside, New Orleans is known for its dark underbelly in part because of its ties to voodoo and witchcraft, and for any jazz aficionado, it’s a must see.

  • Pixabay
    14/ Pixabay

    #23. Portland, OR

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 4

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 948 meters

    Nestled in the meeting point of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, Portland is recognized by many as an environmentally conscious city. For those looking to get out of the city for the weekend, mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean are just a couple of hours away.

  • Alvesgaspar // Wikimedia Commons
    15/ Alvesgaspar // Wikimedia Commons

    #22. Tampa, FL

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 4

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 1,391 meters

    Another city that imitates paradise, Tampa’s beaches and thriving Hispanic community create a diverse, laid-back environment throughout the year – not to mention a pirate festival.

  • Wikipedia
    16/ Wikipedia

    #21. Tulsa, OK

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 4

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 1,672 meters

    Known for its Art Deco architecture, Tulsa’s skyscrapers are a sight to behold. After rebounding from relying on oil in the 20th century, Tulsa’s focus in the energy sector is now balanced out by efforts in more diverse sectors, such as aerospace.

  • Pixabay
    17/ Pixabay

    #20. Columbus, OH

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 5

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 800 meters

    With a diverse economy, Columbus is able to attract people from all walks of life. Millennials are increasingly drawn to the city, giving it an energetic feel some cities lack. The Short North Arts District is famous for galleries, coffee houses and nightclubs, but if the culture fails to entertain, there’s always college football.

  • James Willamor // Flickr
    18/ James Willamor // Flickr

    #19. Charlotte, NC

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 6

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 915 meters

    A sports city through and through, Charlotte is home to the Panthers, the Hornets, the Hounds and multiple NASCAR races. Charlotte’s placement on this list will likely continue to rise over the years, as Charlotte continues making investments into its developing cityscape.

     

  • Pixabay
    19/ Pixabay

    #18. Denver, CO

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 7

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 1,133 meters

    Ranked as the second best place to live by the 2017 U.S. News & World Report, Denver is known for its proximity to mountain ranges. While its skyline is undoubtedly impressive, many residents spend their weekends hiking, cycling and rock climbing the surrounding terrain.

  • Pixabay
    20/ Pixabay

    #17. Detroit, MI

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 8

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 1,300 meters

    Musical influence is particularly important to Detroit. The city has a long history of musical development, including giving rise to the techno and Motown genres. The second-largest city in the Midwest, Detroit is also renowned for its blend of historical architecture and modern renovations.

  • Jimmy Baikovicius // Wikimedia Commons
    21/ Jimmy Baikovicius // Wikimedia Commons

    #16. Sunny Isles Beach, FL

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 8

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 2,504 meters

    With a population of just over 20,000, Sunny Isles Beach’s relatively small community can’t stop it from having some big buildings. A prime resort area, high rise hotels dot the skyline of Sunny Isles Beach at night.

  • PxHere
    22/ PxHere

    #15. Minneapolis, MN

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 9

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 1,578 meters

    Minneapolis balances capitalism with vibrant culture, boasting both a high concentration of Fortune 500 companies and one of the largest LGBT populations in the U.S. The skyline is interrupted by the Mississippi River, with Minneapolis skyscrapers towering over both banks.

     

  • Beyond My Ken // Wikimedia Commons
    23/ Beyond My Ken // Wikimedia Commons

    #14. Jersey City, NJ

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 10

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 1,674 meters

    Considerably smaller than Manhattan, Jersey City keeps the Dunkin’ Donuts and shrugs off the hectic pace of the Big Apple. Wandering around Jersey City’s streets feels almost idyllic in comparison, prompting an influx of New Yorkers to migrate.

  • Public Domain Pictures
    24/ Public Domain Pictures

    #13. Pittsburgh, PA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 10

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 2,327 meters

    The Pittsburgh skyline can uniquely be viewed from its 446 bridges. Although known as the “City of Steel,” Pittsburgh’s ties to the manufacturing industry don’t prevent the city from having ample green space to stroll around, making it easy to explore

  • Dominic Lacivita // Flickr
    25/ Dominic Lacivita // Flickr

    #12. Philadelphia, PA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 12

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 2,744 meters

    Philadelphia is rife with history. Some of the historical landmarks that appear on Philadelphia's streets include the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the site of one of America’s capitals during the American Revolution and the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps.

  • BrendelSignature  // Wikimedia Commons
    26/ BrendelSignature // Wikimedia Commons

    #11. Las Vegas, NV

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 14

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 2,353 meters

    One could say Las Vegas’ skyline is sinfully good. Gambling, good food and prime entertainment are just a few of the hedonistic wonders awaiting any traveler brave enough to set foot on Vegas soil.

  • Georgia National Guard // Flickr
    27/ Georgia National Guard // Flickr

    #10. Atlanta, GA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 16

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 2,409 meters

    Razed during the American Civil War, Atlanta was reborn into a booming center of commerce and culture. Now, Atlanta is home to the world’s busiest airport and is considered an international hub by many.

  • Pixabay
    28/ Pixabay

    #9. Seattle, WA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 18

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 5,002 meters

    While it is a quirky, quiet city, Seattle has nevertheless been quickly growing in population throughout the past decade. Now known as home to Amazon, Seattle also has a history of jazz nightclubs and musical investments.

  • Trenten Kelley // Flickr
    29/ Trenten Kelley // Flickr

    #8. Boston, MA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 19

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 2,885 meters

    Founded in 130 by Puritan settlers, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. History made its mark in Boston through events such as the Boston Tea Party and continues today through the presence of several prestigious universities such as MIT and Harvard.

  • Public Domain Pictures
    30/ Public Domain Pictures

    #7. Dallas, TX

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 19

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 3,061 meters

    Out of all the cities in Texas, Dallas is often cited as being the least stereotypically Southern. Nightlife, fast-paced lifestyles and a burgeoning population are its trademarks now – a far cry from its previous status as a hub for cotton and oil.

  • PxHere
    31/ PxHere

    #6. San Francisco, CA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 22

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 5,501 meters

    One of the most expensive cities to live in in the U.S., San Francisco is a tech-infused, hippie-inspired blend of counterculture, cool summers and really, really high rent. San Francisco’s diverse cultural influences make it a popular tourist destination.

  • Pixabay
    32/ Pixabay

    #5. Los Angeles, CA

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 24

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 4,063 meters

    As the home to Hollywood, Los Angeles is the embodiment of American glamour as well as the second most populous city in America. Ruthless stereotypes about the people living there don’t discourage Los Angelinos from considering their city the best in the nation.

  • Pixabay
    33/ Pixabay

    #4. Houston, TX

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 36

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 5,939 meters

    With a high concentration of Fortune 500 companies, a backing in oil and industries such as aerospace and entertainment, it’s no wonder Houston’s diverse economy translates to its residents. One of the most diverse cities in the U.S., Houston is avid about both sports and the arts.

     

  • PxHere
    34/ PxHere

    #3. Miami, FL

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 42

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 7,251 meters

    Home to a diverse and heavily Cuban-American population, Miami is instrumental in Spanish language media in the U.S. On the Atlantic coast of South Florida, Miami is also known for cruise lines, any of which provide a fantastic view of Miami’s more than 300 high-rises as ships leave the port.

  • Bryce Edwards // Flickr
    35/ Bryce Edwards // Flickr

    #2. Chicago, IL

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 118

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 18,390 meters

    One of the most visited cities in the United States, Chicago flanks Lake Michigan, the only Great Lake to be positioned entirely within the U.S. Landmarks such as the Magnificent Mile draw visitors, but any local will say the reason to stay in Chicago is the deep musical influence that exists there.

  • Pixabay
    36/ Pixabay

    #1. New York City, NY

    Skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 256

    Total height of skyscrapers taller than 150 meters: 50,208 meters

    The most populous city in the U.S. is home to some of the nation’s most iconic skyscrapers. From the Empire State Building to the One World Trade Center, the city has more than twice as many skyscrapers over 150 meters than any other in the country, earning it the top spot on this list.

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