Tallest structures in the U.S.

The height of structures in the United States has historically been poorly documented. However the data is a matter of public record, appearing in documents maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communications Commission.

This category is populated heavily by antenna masts. The engineering aspects of super-tall masts are highly specialized. Only four companies erect the majority of such structures: Doty Moore Tower Services (Cedar Hill, TX); Klein Towers (Columbia, SC); LeBlanc Royal Telecom (Oakville, ON); and Stainless Inc. (North Wales, PA). The design and construction are largely governed by RS222E EIA standards. A 1000 ft (305 m) mast costs between $0.7 and $1.1 million to build, while a 2000 ft (610 m) mast costs $2.4 to $4 million. Prices generally vary depending on tower capacity and wind loading specifications.

A common misperception is that landmarks such as the Stratosphere Tower are the tallest United States structures, but they are in fact the tallest buildings. Likewise Taipei 101 is often misrepresented as the world's tallest structure, but in fact is far eclipsed by antenna towers in over a dozen states in the United States.

In the United States, the FAA and the FCC must approve all towers exceeding 200 ft (61 m) high. Furthermore, a prejudice exists against structures over 2000 ft (610 m) high. The FCC presumes them to be inconsistent with the public interest, while the FAA presumes them to be a hazard to air navigation, resulting in poor airspace usage. A significant burden of proof is placed on the applicant to show that such a structure is in the public's best interests. Only when both agencies have resolved all legal, safety, and management concerns is such an application approved.

Since 1978 the United States has maintained eleven tethered aerostats sites along the southern borders. These balloons rise to 18,000 ft (5500 m), carrying radar units for drug interdiction purposes. However since the balloons are aided by buoyancy and are not permanent they are not considered true structures.

Contents

Related articles

State-by-state listing

Alabama

Alaska

  • LORAN-C transmitter Port Clarence
    • Height: 1350 ft (411 m)
    • Port Clarence (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: ? Owner: U.S. Coast Guard
    • This tower puts out 1 megawatt of long-wave radio energy to help ships in the Gulf of Alaska and the North Pacific navigate. LORSTA (Loran Station) Port Clarence is currently being studied with a view toward refurbishment or replacement, and if the latter will be dismantled. The runner up in Alaska for height is the 808 ft (246 m) public telecommunications tower at Knik near Anchorage (Template:Coor dm).

Arizona

  • Navajo Generating Station
    • Height: 775 ft (236 m)
    • Page (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1972 Owner: Salt River Project
    • The Navajo coal-fired power plant, generating up to 2250 MW of power, is located 4 miles (6 km) east of Page, and boasts three 775 ft (236 m) reinforced concrete chimneys. In 1991 the EPA faulted the station for producing haze around the Grand Canyon, and in 1994 a study was done to investigate demolition requirements. However the studies never reached fruition. The tallest radio tower is the 650 ft (198 m) KOAZ-FM (97.5) tower in Marana near Tucson.

Arkansas

California

  • KXTV/KOVR Television Tower (Sacramento)
    • Height: 2007 ft (612 m)
    • Walnut Grove (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 2000 Owner: Gannett/Sinclair
    • This is the fourth tallest structure in the world, just behind structures in North Dakota and Texas. KXTV is ABC 10, while KOVR is CBS 13, all for Sacramento and Stockton. The tower has been used for research ozone sampling at different heights.

Close to it, there are the 608.7 metre high Channel 40 Tower and the 609.7 metre high Hearst-Argyle Tower.

Colorado

  • Radio communications tower
    • Height: 1996 ft (608 m)
    • Hoyt (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 2003 Owner: Hunt Media Group
    • The primary reason for the tower is to get radio stations who do not have license for the Denver area to get into the Denver area (big advertising bucks). According to Raymond Morris, "I was the previous owner of the land on which the tower was located. I was trying to negotiate a lease with them, but the going got tough and I ended up selling 367.3 acres [1.5 km²] from a larger piece of land, (4000 feet x 4000 feet) [1.2 by 1.2 km]."

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

  • WCTV Television Tower (Tallahassee CBS 6)
    • Height: 2000 ft (610 m)
    • Metcalf (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1987 Owner: Gray Midamerica TV
    • At 2000 ft (610 m), this structure ties about a dozen others across the United States as the fifth tallest structure in the world.

Hawaii

  • Navy VLF Antenna Farm
    • Height: 1503 ft (458 m)
    • Lualualei (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1972 Owner: U.S. Navy / ROICC Pearl Harbor
    • The record-holder is held by two towers, exactly identical, that reach 1503 ft (458 m) in height. They are used to communicate with submarines throughout the Pacific basin. The second tallest structure is the KHON-TV (Honolulu Fox 2) tower at 500 ft (152 m) located at Template:Coor dms.

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

  • AFLAC Tower
    • Height: 2000ft (609.4 m)
    • Rowley (4224'02.0" N, 9150'37.0" W )
    • Year built: 1984

Kansas

  • KWCH Television Tower (Wichita CBS 12)
    • Height: 1501 ft (458 m)
    • Burrton (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1963 Owner: Media General Operations
    • This was KTVH-TV until 1983, when it became KWCH-TV. Signal also broadcast on DT on Ch 19.

Kentucky

Louisiana

  • WCKW/KSTE Radio Tower (New Orleans 92.3/104.1 FM)
    • Height: 2000 ft (610 m)
    • Vacherie (Template:Coor dms) Year built: 1986 Owner: Clear Channel Broadcasting
    • At 2000 ft (610 m), this structure ties about a dozen others across the United States as the fifth tallest structure in the world.

Maine

  • WMTW Television Tower (Portland ABC 8)
    • Height: 1667 ft (508 m)
    • Baldwin (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 2001 Owner: Harron Communications
    • This tower was built in 2001 to replace WMTW's transmitting facility atop Mount Washington (read about the perils of this site here). It began transmitting on February 5, 2002. The second tallest structure is the WGME (CBS-13) tower in Portland, which measures 1624 ft (495 m).

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

  • KPXM Television (Minneapolis PAX 41)
    • Height: 1505 ft (459 m)
    • Big Lake (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1997 Owner: Paxson Minneapolis / KXLI
    • This station is licensed to St. Cloud; attempts to cover both that city and Minneapolis/St. Paul from a site between the two cities; and was formerly known as KXLI-TV.

Mississippi

Missouri

  • KOZK Television Tower (Springfield PBS 21)
    • Height: 2000 ft (609.6 m)
    • Fordland (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1971 Owner: SW Missouri State University
    • At 2000 ft (610 m), this structure ties about a dozen others across the United States as the fifth tallest structure in the world.
  • KY3 Tower
    • Height: 2000 ft (609.4 m)
    • Fordland ( 3710'26" N, 9256'28" W)
    • Year built: 2000

Montana

Nebraska

  • KLKN Television Tower (Lincoln ABC 8)
    • Height: 1854 ft (565 m)
    • Genoa (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1969 Owner: Citadel Communications
    • The KDUH-TV tower of 1965 ft (599 m) at Hemingford, NE collapsed in early 2003 during reinforcement work. A replacement tower about 20 miles (30 km) away was completed in September 2003. The replacement tower is 160 m (about 500 ft) shorter than the original. KXVO and KPTM in Omaha (which are co-owned) have a FCC construction permit to build a taller tower that would put their antennas 577 m (roughly 1900 ft) up. Was there also a 2000 ft-mast at Hemingford, Nebraska, which collapsed in 2002 and which was replaced by Duhamel Broadcasting Tower Angora?

Nevada

  • BREN Tower
    • Height: 1527 ft (465 m)
    • Nevada Test Site (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1962 Owner: Department of Energy
    • The BREN Tower, located in Jackass Flats (Area 25) of the Nevada Test Site, is a mast that was built for nuclear radiation testing. The 345 ton structure was constructed by Columbus, Ohio based Dresser-Ideco in 1962. It was originally erected in Yucca Flat (Area 4) before being dismantled in 1966 and moved to Area 25. The mast is owned by the Department of Energy and maintained by Bechtel. The second tallest structure in Nevada is the Stratosphere Tower near downtown Las Vegas, which was erected in 1994-96 and reaches 1149 ft (350 m) and 921 ft (281 m) without the mast.

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

  • WRAL HDTV Mast
    • Height: 2000 ft (609.5 m)
    • Auburn (3540'35.1"N, 7832'07.2"W)
    • Built in 1989 as replacement for two masts of the same height, which collapsed during a blizzard.

North Dakota

  • KVLY Television Tower (Fargo NBC 11)
    • Height: 2063 ft (629 m)
    • Blanchard (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1963 Owner: Meyer Broadcasting
    • This tower was known as the KTHI Television Tower until June 1995. It is the single tallest structure in the world, eclipsed only from 1974 to 1991 by the Warsaw Radio mast in Poland. North Dakota also has the second tallest structure in the world: the 2060 ft (628 m) KXJB-TV tower at Galesburg.

Ohio

  • WNWO Television Tower (Toledo NBC 24)
    • Height: 1437 ft (438 m)
    • Jerusalem (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1983 Owner: Malrite Communications Group
    • There was a taller tower from 1987 or 1988 until 1994 or 1995 when it was dismantled. It belonged to WCOM-TV (Mansfield Ind 68) and was located just south of Butler, Ohio. WCOM-TV signed on March 3, 1988. Height of the tower was 1576 ft. WCOM-TV used the tall tower and a directional antenna to try to serve the Columbus market. The station went dark in 1991 and the tower was sold to a religious broadcaster in South Carolina to be used as two separate 800 ft towers. An engineer recently reported that part of the tower was still on the ground in Sumter, South Carolina.

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

  • WIMZ-FM Tower
    • Height: 1752 ft (534 m)
    • Knoxville (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1966 Owner: South Central Communications
    • The tower is home to WIMZ-FM 103.5. The antenna itself is located 1570 ft (479 m) AGL, about 180 ft (55 m) below the top. When used for television broadcasts it was shielded by mountains from the important audience in Knoxville, and especially those in the larger western suburbs like Farragut, Oak Ridge, and Oliver Springs.

Texas

  • KLDE Radio Tower (Houston 107.5 FM Oldies)
    • Height: 2018 ft (615 m)
    • Liverpool (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1986 Owner: Clear Channel Broadcasting
    • This is the third highest structure in the world, behind only two television towers in North Dakota.

Utah

  • Kennecott Smokestack
    • Height: 1215 ft (370 m)
    • Garfield (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1978 Owner: Kennecott Copper Corporation
    • This incredibly tall smokestack was designed to help the Garfield smelter comply with the Clean Air Act. It is a prominent structure along the shore of the Great Salt Lake adjacent to Interstate 80, about 10 miles (16 km) west of Salt Lake City. The smokestack rises to an altitude of 5540 ft (1,689 m) MSL. The tallest non-smokestack structure is a 660 ft (201 m) radio mast near Plain City, owned by the Bible Broadcasting Network.

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

  • Bank of America Tower
    • Height: 967 ft (295 m)
    • Seattle, 701 Fifth Avenue (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1982-85 Owner: Equity Office Properties
    • The Bank of America building was intended to be 1005 ft (306 m) tall but was disapproved by the FAA. It was built in 1982-85 and has 76 floors. The tallest antenna tower is the 940 ft (287 m) KREM (CBS-2) tower at Spokane.

West Virginia

  • WOWK Television Tower (Huntington-Charleston CBS 13)
    • Height: 1112 ft (339 m)
    • Huntington (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: 1975 Owner: West Virginia Media Holdings
    • Became the top tower by default after the 2003 collapse of the WVAH tower. The FCC database lists a Huntington tower at 1158 ft (353 m) but does not indicate that it was constructed. The WVAH tower of 1551 ft (473 m) at Scott Depot collapsed around 10:15 am on February 19 2003 due to excessive loading from ice during a winter storm. WVAH was the Fox 11 affiliate. The tower was located at N38 25' 15" W81 55' 26", and was built around 1980.

Wisconsin

Wyoming

  • LORAN-C facility antenna
    • Height: 700 ft (213 m)
    • Gillette (Template:Coor dms)
    • Year built: ? Owner: U.S. Coast Guard
    • A Coast Guard site in Wyoming is part of the worldwide LORAN marine navigation network, which is gradually becoming obsolete due to GPS. The tower is especially useful to ships plying the Great Lakes. The antenna puts out 540 kW of power

Puerto Rico

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