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.
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