Monday, March 07, 2011

Living the High Life

I ran across some interesting information today about the tallest buildings in each state, and I thought I’d share:

Two state’s tallest buildings are their state capitols: West Virginia: 292 ft and North Dakota: 241.67 ft

The shortest tallest building of a state is in Vermont: 124 ft (government owned housing)

The tallest building in D.C. is the Washington Monument: 555 ft. (although I think maybe I heard that from National Treasure). It is also the oldest “tallest building”, completed in 1888.

One Shell Plaza in Houston is 18 ft taller than One Shell Square in New Orleans

The tallest building in Mississippi is the Beau Rivage Casino.

I think this all started one day recently when I began wondering about tall buildings.  I think it is common knowledge that the Sears Tower (or whatever it's called now) is the tallest building in the Continental U.S...but it's not the highest building (since it's built virtually at sea level).  Even a house built in Denver (for example) would be higher (in terms of elevation above sea level) than the top of the Sears tower because Denver is in the mountains.
So that led me to wonder what the highest building is in the world.  Obviously the Al Burj Dubai is the tallest, at 2,717 ft, but again, being built at sea level (or thereabouts), the Raising Canes in Colorado Springs is something like 3,500 ft higher.  So what is the highest building in the world?
The clear cut winner, at 18,192 ft is the North Base Camp on the Tibet side of Mt. Everest.  There is a building at the North Base Camp that is a permanent structure.  Obviously tents pitched at the top of Everest would be the highest temporary structure, but since this structure is permenant, I consider this to be the highest building in the world.
However, not being in a city or town, some have considered that not to be the highest building in the world, and if you want to go down that road the answer is less clear.
La Rinconada, Peru claims to be the highest city in the world at 16,732ft. - National Geographic considers La Rinconada to be the highest in the world.
Wenzhuan, China claims to be the highest city in the world at 16,730ft. - The Guinness Book of World Records considers Wenzhuan to be the highest in the world.
Neither city seems to have a significant building worth noting.  I'd imagine it's whoever built their house a little further up the mountian than the next guy.  Whoever owns the highest non-everest building in the world may not even know about his/her building's distinction.
La Rinconada, Peru is the larger of the two cities with a population of about 30,000.  It is a mining town, and according to wikipedia, "The city has [no running water], no plumbing and no sanitation system. Besides having no sewage system there is significant contamination with mercury due to the mining practices."  So although La Rinconadians are dwelling at 16,730ft+ altitudes, you really wouldn't say that they're living the high life.
Pun definitely intended.

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