Several skyscrapers from different sides of the world each have something in common. The booming economies that lead to their construction seem destined to take a turn for the worst just when the dizzying heights of their tallest buildings are finally unveiled.
New York's Empire State Building (1,454 feet) opened on May 1, 1931 and was the highest skyscraper in the world at the time. What followed was a decline in construction that accompanied the Depression. After World War II, the trend was to build shorter, denser office buildings. It would be more than 40 years later when the Twin Towers of the first World Trade Center would stake claim as Manhattan's tallest.
Today, Shanghai Tower stands at 2,073 feet high and is poised to open just as the country's once booming economy heads into a downturn, according to the video above.
The Shanghai Tower will be the world's second tallest building. It will be surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa (2,717 feet) in Dubai, which opened amid a glittering celebration while the city was burdened by debt and a devastating real estate crash. Similarly, the ribbon was cut for Petronas Towers just as Malaysia experienced financial woes and economic headwinds in its own right.
Will New York City share a similar fate again? Plans for Extell Development's super tall residential/retail tower at 217 W. 57th St. are moving forward. The building, originally dubbed the Nordstrom Tower, is expected to soar 1,550 feet into the air above "Billionaire's Row."
Shanghai's newest skyscraper is poised to open just as the country's once booming economy heads into a downturn. VIDEO