First floor, ladies lingerie; 150th floor, parachutes, oxygen tanks


I'm building my own house. It's a pain. But it got me to thinking, what is the tallest building in the world, now that the World Trade Center is gone?

-- Tool Guy, Ramona

The WTC was biggest when it went up, but not when it came down. Biggest in the U.S. for the moment? Sears Tower, Chicago (1450 ft.); In the world? Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur (1492). Biggest in the U.S., yet to be built? WTC replacement Freedom Tower, New York (1776); in the world, yet to be built? Burj Dubai, Dubai City (2500). At its base will be the largest mall in the world, 9 million square feet, nearly double the current largest, West Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) Mall. More than four times bigger than anything we have here. Though half of the Dubai Mall will be a lake, so bring your Visa card and your hip waders.

News: World's Tallest Building Topped Out. (Taipei). On October 9, the uppermost and final spire segment was raised into place on Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan. At 509.2 meters, the 101-story tower now officially holds the world's tallest building previously held by Petronas Tower 1 and Petronas Tower 2. The Sears Tower still holds the title of the world's tallest building to the tip of the antenna at 527 meters. Taipei 101 now also holds the highest roof (449 meters) and highest occupied floor (439 meters) titles.

-- Al Weiss, Rancho Bernardo

You'd think I would have learned by now. When I see aggravation on the horizon, I usually try to head it off. Our world's tallest building question was a big, flashing neon sign: "Falling rocks next 7 miles."I should have said, in the first place, that this tallest building stuff is just a chamber of commerce "mine's bigger than yours" game. So measure all the rooftop spikes and spires and flagpoles and Jack-in-the-Box antenna balls and snagged kites and roosting pigeons and whatever else you want to prove your point. When you think about it, a dog house in Denver is higher up than any of them, measured from sea level. So maybe one day Donald Trump will build an outhouse on Everest and end the debate.

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