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An observation deck is a platform situated upon a tall architectural structure or natural feature. The decks are usually fitted with railings, and to avoid accidents or suicides, the railings are often high or supplemented with a wire fence. Observation decks can be located in both indoor and outdoor settings. For photography, open observation decks are often preferred, as reflections on glass can occur with flash photography. Closed observation decks, meanwhile, have the advantage of protecting viewers from windy or stormy weather. Many observation decks are equipped with coin operated telescopes, which often offer a superior view of distant features.

List of observation decks by height

This list contains the highest-elevated observation decks that are accessible to the public. It includes carriageways of bridges and tops of dams. Observation decks situated on natural features, such as mountains, are excluded from the list.

Rank Name Built Type Country Municipality Deck height (m) Total height (m) Notes
1 Shanghai World Financial Centermarker 2008 Skyscraper Shanghai 100th floor, world's highest observation deck from 2008 - present
2 CN Towermarker 1976 Concrete tower Torontomarker 147th floor, world's highest observation deck from 1976-2008
3 Willis Towermarker 1974 Skyscraper Chicagomarker 103rd floor, world's second highest observation deck in a building
4 Taipei 101marker 2004 Skyscraper Taiwanmarker Taipeimarker 91st floor, world's highest outdoor observation deck, and lower indoor observation deck found on the 89th floor, at 383.4 m
5 Empire State Buildingmarker 1931 Skyscraper New York Citymarker 102nd floor, and lower observation deck found on the 86th floor, at 320 m
6 Oriental Pearl Towermarker 1994 Concrete tower Shanghai 14th floor
7 Jin Mao Towermarker 1998 Skyscraper Shanghai
8 Ostankino Towermarker 1967 Concrete Tower Moscowmarker Closed at present time
9 John Hancock Centermarker 1969 Skyscraper Chicagomarker
10 Eureka Towermarker 2007 Residential building Melbournemarker 88th floor. Includes , a glass cube that projects three metres out of the building with up to twelve people inside it.
11 Eiffel Towermarker 1889 Steel and truss tower Parismarker 3rd floor
12 Menara Kuala Lumpurmarker 1996 Concrete tower Kuala Lumpurmarker
13 Columbia Centermarker 1985 Skyscraper Seattlemarker 73rd floor
14 Yokohama Landmark Towermarker 1993 Skyscraper Yokohama 69th floor
15 Millau Viaductmarker 2004 Bridge Millaumarker
16 JPMorgan Chase Towermarker 1982 Skyscraper Houstonmarker 60th floor
17 Stratosphere Towermarker 1996 Concrete tower Las Vegasmarker 9th floor
18 Vajont Dammarker 1961 Dam Erto e Cassomarker The dam has not been used since a rockfall caused the water to overtop on October 9, 1963
19 GE Buildingmarker 1933 Skyscraper New York Citymarker 70th floor, known as "Top of the Rock"
20 Tianjin Radio and Television Towermarker 1991 Concrete tower Tianjinmarker
21 Lac de Mauvoisin Dammarker 1957 Dam Fionnay Height was increased by 13 m in 1991
22 Tokyo Towermarker 1958 Steel and truss Tower Tokyomarker 6th floor
23 Central Radio and TV Towermarker 1992 Concrete tower Beijing
24 Q1marker 2005 Residential tower Gold Coast QDeck, the observation deck, is on the 77th floor, with the function room on the 78th
25 Europaturmmarker 1979 Concrete tower Frankfurtmarker Closed at present time
26 Luzzone Dammarker 1963 Dam Olivonemarker Height increased by 17 m in 1998
27 Verzasca Dammarker 1965 Dam Ticinomarker
28 Mratinje Dammarker 1975 Dam Mratinje
29 Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotelmarker 1973 Skyscraper Atlantamarker 73rd floor
30 Prudential Towermarker 1964 Skyscraper Bostonmarker 50th floor, known as "Prudential Skywalk"
31 Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Centermarker 1977 Skyscraper Detroitmarker 70th floor
32 Tour Montparnassemarker 1972 Skyscraper Parismarker
33 Fernsehturm Berlinmarker 1969 Concrete Tower Berlinmarker
34 Almendra Dammarker 1970 Dam Almendramarker
35 K├Âlnbrein Dam 1979 Dam Maltamarker
36 Maintowermarker 1999 Skyscraper Frankfurtmarker
37 Tower of the Americasmarker 1968 Concrete Tower San Antoniomarker
38 La Tour du Stade Olympiquemarker 1987 Concrete tower Montrealmarker
39 Reunion Towermarker 1978 Concrete Tower Dallasmarker
40 Space Needlemarker 1962 Steel Tower Seattlemarker
41 Calgary Towermarker 1968 Concrete Tower Calgarymarker
42 Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegasmarker 1999 Steel tower Paradisemarker
43 Foshay Towermarker 1929 Skyscraper Minneapolismarker 30th floor
44 Custom House Towermarker 1915 Skyscraper Bostonmarker 26th floor
45 Kansas City City Hallmarker 1937 Skyscraper Kansas Citymarker 30th floor
46 Penobscot Narrows Observatorymarker 2007 Bridge Bucksport, Maine 3rd level (the 1st and 2nd levels at 122 and 128 m)
47 Edifice Marie-Guyart 1972 Skyscraper Quebec Citymarker 31st floor
48 Smith Towermarker 1914 Skyscraper Seattlemarker 35th floor
49 Liberty Memorialmarker 1926 Concrete Tower Kansas Citymarker
50 Coit Towermarker 1933 Concrete Tower San Franciscomarker


Timeline of world's highest observation deck

This is a timeline of the development of world's highest observation deck since inauguration of the Eiffel Towermarker in 1889. The list excludes observation decks on natural features, dams, and bridges.

Held record Name and Location Constructed Height of highest observation deck (m) Height of highest observation deck (ft) Notes
From To
 1889  1931 Eiffel Towermarker, Parismarker, Francemarker  1889 275 902 Two further observation decks 57 and 115 metres above ground.
 1931  1973 Empire State Buildingmarker, New York Citymarker, USAmarker  1931 369 1211 A second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 metres above ground.
 1973  1976 World Trade Centermarker, New York Citymarker, USAmarker (article)  1973 420 1362 Destroyed on September 11, 2001
 1976  2008 CN Towermarker, Torontomarker, Canadamarker  1976 446.5 1465 Two further observation decks 342 and 346 metres above ground.
 2008  - Shanghai World Financial Centermarker, Shanghai, People's Republic of Chinamarker  2008 474.0 1555 Two further observation decks on level 94 (skyarena) and level 97 (skywalk with retractable roof).

See also


  1. SkyscraperPage - Shanghai World Financial Center, source: Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai.
  2. SkyscraperPage - CN Tower, source: CN Tower official website.
  3. SkyscraperPage - Sears Tower, source: building blueprints.
  4. SkyscraperPage - Taipei 101, source: architect plans.

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