The 5 Tallest Commercial Buildings Ever Demolished

NYC-skylineWhat are the tallest buildings ever demolished? We will answer this question in today’s article and learn more about these massive structures. Many were removed to make room for larger buildings, future developments, or because they were unstable. 

In today’s eco-friendly era, well-managed demolitions can actually be quite profitable, because many of the building materials can be recycled. Scrap metal recycling and concrete recycling are both lucrative and eco-friendly ways that parts from a demolished building can be reused in other projects or transformed into a usable substrate. 

Let’s take a look at the five tallest commercial buildings voluntarily demolished.

#5 The UIC Building – Singapore

The UIC Building, also known as the United Industrial Corporation Limited Building, was over 40 stories and located in Singapore. 

  • Built in 1973, it was one of the tallest buildings in Southeast Asia. 
  • At the time of its demolition in 2013, it had tied in rank with three other buildings for the 38th tallest building in Singapore: the Chevron House, Meritus Mandarin Singapore Tower Two, and One Marina Boulevard.

It was demolished via a method of demolition known as deconstruction. Deconstruction is when a building is carefully taken apart piece by piece. Deconstruction is also a perfect way to recover assets from the building that could be used for scrap metal recycling or concrete recycling. 


#4 Deutsche Bank Building – New York

The Deutsche Bank Building was a 39-story skyscraper in Manhattan. It was located at 130 Liberty Street, adjacent to the World Trade Center site, and was damaged during the tragic events of the September 11 attacks in 2001. 

  • Built in 1974, the building was originally used by Bankers Trust and called the Bankers Trust Plaza. 
  • When Bankers Trust was acquired by Deutsche Bank in 1998, it was renamed. 
  • The building was dismantled between 2006 and 2011, with the workers going floor by floor, carefully removing each level.

The site is now set to hold Liberty Park, a Greek Orthodox Church and interfaith bereavement center, and the Vehicular Security Center administered by the New York Port Authority.

#3 Morrison Hotel – Chicago

The Morrison Hotel, located in Chicago, was a high-rise hotel on the corner of Madison and Clark Streets in the downtown Loop area of the city. It was named after Orsemus Morrison, the first coroner in Chicago, who bought the site in 1838 and, in 1860, built a three-story hotel there with 21 hotel rooms. 

  • This hotel was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and replaced with an eight-story building. 
  • Between 1915 and 1937, the building changed ownership multiple times and continued to expand.
  • In 1927, the hotel’s 46-story tower was completed, giving the Morrison a total of 2,500 guest rooms and the right to claim itself the “World’s Tallest Hotel.” 

For 30 years the hotel was the tallest hotel in the world, and the first building outside of New York City to have more than 40 floors. When it was razed in 1965, it was the tallest building to ever have been demolished in the world. 

#2 CPF Building – Singapore

Another tall building in Singapore to be demolished was the CPF Building. It was a high-rise skyscraper in the business district of Singapore. 

  • It was designed by the Public Works Department of Singapore and completed in 1976. 
  • The building stood at 561 feet tall and had 46 floors and was designed in the architectural style of New Brutalism.

In 2015, the building was sold to Ascendas Land for $550 million and was demolished. A 29-story office tower is slated to be built on the site and be completed in 2020.  

#1 Singer Building – New York & 270 Park Avenue – New York

The title of tallest building to have been demolished is currently held by the Singer Building. However, 270 Park Avenue is slated to be demolished in 2020. It stands close to 100 feet taller than the Singer Building which will make it the tallest building to ever be demolished. 

  • The Singer Building was a 674 foot tall, 41-story office building in Manhattan built in 1908 as the headquarters of the Singer Manufacturing Company.
  • It was the tallest building in the world for about a year before it was superseded by the completion of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. 
  • It was torn down in 1968, along with the neighboring City Investment Building, and is now the site of the One Liberty Plaza. 

270 Park Avenue,  also known as the JPMorgan Chase Tower and is a high-rise in Midtown Manhattan. It was built between 1957 and 1960 and stood at 708 feet tall and had 52 floors. 

Its demolition began in 2019 and it is being removed to be replaced by a taller building on the sale site. Once its demolition is complete in 2020, it will be the tallest tower to have been voluntarily demolished in the world. 

Oregon Demolition, Recycling & Asset Recovery Contractors

At Elder Demolition, we are experts at demolition asset recovery, which can turn a demolition project from an expense into a chance to profit. Scrap metal recycling and concrete recycling can provide lucrative ways to reclaim, reuse, and resale metal, concrete, and other materials present in the building.

Using precision equipment and magnets, we can recover steel and other metals so that you can divert material from entering the landfill and help offset or cover the cost of demolition. Contact us today to learn more about our demolition services and how we can assist you in completing your project. 

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