What You Can See From the Tallest Observation Decks On Earth

It's only been a few years since humans could climb more than half a mile above the surface of the Earth without the help of jet fuel. It's easy to forget that buildings that reach this high into the atmosphere are a new phenomenon in our world—at these heights, it's more like aerospace engineering than architecture.
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Changing the lightbulb on a 1500-foot tower is breathtakingly terrifying

My pores on the palms of my hands are shaking. My caps on my knees are sweating. I'm having trouble breathing. And it's all because of this slightly terrifying video showing a tower climber climbing atop a 1500-foot TV tower to change the lightbulb like it's a leisurely walk in the park. »1/05/15 11:04pm1/05/15 11:04pm

Bureaucracy and Bad Design Killed the World Trade Center's Green Dream

Once upon a time, One World Trade was a trumpeted as the future greenest skyscraper in the world. It turned out to be anything but, and today, Mother Jones has obtained documents explaining what the hell happened. The short answer is money, bureaucracy, bad design. Oh, and Hurricane Sandy. »12/08/14 3:50pm12/08/14 3:50pm

A 1000-Foot Tower Is Being Built in the Amazon to Track Climate Change

In a remote stretch of the Amazon rainforest, a skinny steel tower will soon rise over 1,000 feet into the sky—higher than the Eiffel Tower, way higher than the trees. The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory is a joint effort by Brazil and Germany to figure out exactly how carbon dioxide fluctuates inside the South American… »9/15/14 2:51pm9/15/14 2:51pm

The Brutally Beautiful Wastelands of Outer Moscow

The seam where a city meets the country is an uncanny place. It's not rural, yet not exactly urban, either, a non-place often full of half-finished streets and isolated developments. Most of us only see these environments through the windows of our cars, but photographer Alexander Gronsky has spent the last four years… »1/29/14 4:50pm1/29/14 4:50pm

Skyscraper Candles Let You Safely Set the World on Fire

"I like watching these buildings burn," says Jing Jing Naihan Li, a young Beijing architect. That would normally come off as ominous, but in this case, it's awesome: Naihan makes candles that are modeled after the tallest buildings in the world. Because, after all, aren't skyscrapers just the candles on the… »12/30/13 5:30pm12/30/13 5:30pm

NYC's Next Super-Skinny Supertall Probably Won't Melt Your Car

Proving that all press is good press when it comes to real estate, Rafael Viñoly—the architect behind two recent death-ray skyscrapers—revealed plans for a new skyscraper in Lower Manhattan today. It'll be his second tall building in NYC, and like the first, this one is conspicuously free of curved surfaces. »12/10/13 3:40pm12/10/13 3:40pm

Elaborate Chinese Real Estate Scam Traps Owners in Illegal Apartments

Here in New York, shady brokers have long been known to sell the same apartment to multiple gullible buyers. In China, however, real estate scammers have gone to the next level: Buyers are being “taken hostage” by developers who fail to mention that the apartments they’re selling are totally illegal. »11/04/13 1:00pm11/04/13 1:00pm

The UN Is Building an Emergency Back-Up Tower Next to Its Headquarters

As the United Nations wrapped up its 68th General Assembly last week, a major piece of news nearly slipped under the radar: Designs for the UN Consolidation Tower, a 36-story building that will flank the headquarters like an eager little brother, housing almost 3,000 employees. But besides offering much-needed… »10/01/13 3:14pm10/01/13 3:14pm