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At What Height Is A Building Considered A Skyscraper?


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A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many floors, primarily designed for office, commercial and residential use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper and at which height it may not be considered a high-rise anymore. For buildings above a height of 300 m (984 ft), the term Supertall can be used, skyscrapers reaching beyond 600 m (1,969 ft) are classified as Megatall. After the completion of the 10-story Home Insurance Bldg in Chicago (1895) as the tallest bldg in the city the term skyscraper was used, although a 10-story bldg today may not be considered a skyscraper but a high-rise.

I personally consider a high-rise would be about 30-stories or 400-ft. and a skyscraper to be above 400-ft and upto the Supertall height.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You are technically a skyscraper if you are at around 10 floors or higher.


Lets remember that one of the first skyscrapers, The Wainwright Building built in Chicago, was designed by the great Louis Sullivan near the turn of last century (19th to 20th) and that was only 10 stories tall!



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  • 3 years later...


The Century Building was Houston' 1st skyscraper, not so much height but steel frame (steel allowed you to go higher)  … L


Hood-Bang had ended their partnership due to Bang wanted to use same Engineer they had been using, but Ken S "Owner" wanted to use relative/friend?    so Bang said good by and Lucian said ok and did plans, to bad because Hood-Bang had found Texas multi color stone about 3' sq cut pieces, and thick because soft  … I wish I knew where it was and was there  any more removed for any projects ?  …  the  B/W rendering shows the building as stand alone (do you see similar look to Times Bldg?)  and no park garage added later  …    2 things more … a beam being placed on top story came loose and fell to side walk …. no one was killed but everybody got sued … must have sounded like St Paul Methodist Church Bells,   another time Lucian met Ken S on site to chat so I was running all over the place and got into the crane cab and pulled some levers and she started moving forward, I was worried were I should aim if it did not stop and reversed what I did and it stopped, I bailed and ran to see if my Dad or KS had seen what I did if they had I was going to kept running maybe to Galveston …. was lucky that day …. L 


Century Bldg.jpg

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"Skyscraper" is definitely a subjective term. Certainly the Wainwright building scraped the sky when it was new and by far the tallest structure in the area. In the past (and maybe still) a building was defined as "high-rise" for purposes of the building codes if it was 75 feet or more above the ground on which it sat. This determination was made in part because that was the limit of fire department ladder trucks IIRC.

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