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15 historic American skyscrapers that aren't the Empire State Building

By: Matt Hickman on March 4, 2016, 12:53 p.m.
Terminal Tower in Cleveland in 1987

Photo: The United States Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

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Terminal Tower, Cleveland

True, Ohio's second biggest burg doesn't exactly scream "historic skyscrapers galore!" (More like "Corned beef!" and "Drew Carey!") However, it's on the North Coast you'll find a high-rise, one of several 20-story-plus towers erected during the 1920s and '30s, of particular significance.

Rising nearly 800 feet directly above Cleveland's central train station at Public Square, Terminal Tower enjoyed a six-decade reign as Ohio's tallest building until César Pelli, an Argentine architect famed for designing impossibly tall buildings, came along and snatched the top spot with the 947-foot Key Tower in 1991. When completed in 1930, no other building in the entire world — save for a small handful of skyscrapers in Manhattan — was taller. In fact, Terminal Tower was the tallest building in North America outside of New York until the completion of Boston's Prudential Tower in 1962. Designed by the early skyscraper specialists at Chicago-based Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the 52-story office tower is still a magnificent — if not a touch imposing — presence in downtown C-Town. Like its super-tall Manhattan contemporary, the Empire State Building, Terminal Tower is illuminated with LEDs in observance of holidays and special events, including a large number of health-related awareness campaigns. Following a 9-year closure prompted by the 9/11 attacks, the tower's renovated observation deck reopened in 2010. The panoramic views, as always, are nothing short of spectacular.