Architecture: Going Up ... and Up: When Height Is All That Matters

The quest for the tallest building

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Adrian D. Smith, a well-known architect in the Chicago office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, was in a meeting with Donald Trump. The hyperbolic New York City developer was in Chicago to go over the design of a proposed Trump residential tower in that city that he had decided should be--what else?--the tallest building in the world, around 2,000 ft. In the midst of their meeting, the two men got word of the first plane that hit the World Trade Center. "When the second plane hit, we all rushed to the television to see...