The Oldest Skyscrapers in the United States

Many of the buildings in Manhattan's urban landscape date back to the late 1800s.
Many of the buildings in Manhattan's urban landscape date back to the late 1800s.

There are many famous skyscrapers that initiated the creation of beautiful skylines in cities across the country. Many of these buildings are still standing. Here are some of the oldest skyscrapers in the US.

The oldest skyscrapers in America

Delaware Building

The Delaware Building is one of America's oldest skyscrapers. It was built in 1862 in Chicago, Illinois. Within a decade of being built, architects had to rebuild it due to major structure damage that occurred from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that destroyed more than 3 square miles of the city. Due to its beauty, significance, and Italian structure of the nineteenth century, Delaware Building is registered as a historical place and a Chicago landmark. The building is also famous for its early use of precast concrete construction.

New York Tribune Building

The New York Tribune Building was once located at 154 Printing House Square at Spruce Street where 1 Pace Plaza is located today. The building was constructed in 1875 as the headquarters of the New York Tribune. At the time of its construction, the New York Tribune Building was the second tallest building in New York. This particular skyscraper was the world's first building to have a high rise elevator. The building was a beautiful piece of masonry structure designed by Richard Morris Hunt. It was demolished in 1966 to be replaced with 1 Pace Plaza Building.

Tample Court Building and Annex

The Tample Court Building and Annex was built in 1881 at 5 Beekam Street in New York City. It was built to model a building with the same name in London that was owned by Inns of Court with the goal of attracting lawyers to New York City. In 2001, the last of its tenants moved out. Today the building is known as The Beekam Hotel and is officially designated as one of the city's landmarks.

Hotel Chelsea

Hotel Chelsea is located at 222 West 23rd street near Chelsea, Manhattan. Built in 1884, Hotel Chelsea is a New York City landmark and is officially registered on the National Register of Historical Places. It has served as home to many writers, musicians, artists and actors, and its legacy is greatly tied to the famous personalities who stayed there.

Rookery Building

The Rookery Building is a Chicago, Illinois landmark. It is one of the city's most historical and beautifully designed pieces of architecture. The building was built in 1886 and stands at 181 feet tall. The twelve story building was intelligently designed as a fusion of new and old building techniques. Rookery Building is Chicago's oldest standing high rise today.

More than bricks and concrete

These old buildings continue to tell the story and culture of the area where they stand. They represent more than bricks and concrete for their tenants and neighborhood, and they are an important part of the history of the development process.

The Oldest Skyscrapers in the United States

Rank´╗┐Building NameDate of ConstructionLocationStill standing?
1Delaware Building1862Chicago, IllinoisYes
2Equitable Life Building1870New York, New YorkNo
3New York Tribune Building1875New York, New YorkNo
4Phelan Building1881San Francisco, CaliforniaNo
5Temple Court Building and Annex1881New York, New YorkYes
6Produce Exchange1884New York, New YorkNo
7Home Insurance Building1884Chicago, IllinoisNo
8Hotel Chelsea1884New York, New YorkYes
9Sun Building1885Washington, D.C.Yes
10Rookery Building1886Chicago, IllinoisYes
11Dexter Building1887Chicago, IllinoisNo
12Tacoma Building1889Chicago, IllinoisNo
13Second Leiter Building1889Chicago, IllinoisYes
14Ames Building1889Boston, MassachusettsYes
15New York Times Building1889New York, New YorkYes
16Rand McNally Building1890Chicago, IllinoisNo
17Old Chronicle Building1890San Francisco, CaliforniaYes
18Luzon Building1890Tacoma, WashingtonNo
19Metropolitan Building1890Minneapolis, MinnesotaNo
20The New York World Building1890New York, New YorkNo
21Monadnock Building1891Chicago, IllinoisYes
22Wainwright Building1891St. Louis, MissouriYes
23Pabst Buildin1891Milwaukee, WisconsinNo
24Masonic Temple Building1892Chicago, IllinoisNo
25Ludington Building1892Chicago, IllinoisYes
26Mills Building and Tower1892San Francisco, CaliforniaYes
27Courthouse Place1893Chicago, IllinoisYes
28The Arc at Old Colony 1893Chicago, IllinoisYes
29Hotel Gerard1893New York, New YorkYes
30New York Life Insurance Building1894Chicago, IllinoisYes
31Winthrop Building1894Boston, MassachusettsYes
32American Tract Society Building1894New York, New YorkYes
3356 Pine Street1894New York, New YorkYes
34Manhattan Life Insurance Building1894New York, New YorkNo
35Reliance Building1895Chicago, IllinoisYes
36Marquette Building1895Chicago, IllinoisYes
37Osborne Apartments1895New York, New YorkYes
38Milwaukee City Hall1895Milwaukee, WisconsinYes

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