tall skyscrapers seen from below looking up at sky
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
June 20, 2024 ·  3 min read

Tallest Skyscraper in US to be Built in Oklahoma and Has Been Approved for ‘Unlimited’ Height

Oklahoma City is set to become home to the tallest skyscraper in the United States, with plans for the Legends Tower to reach an unprecedented height of 1,907 feet. The city council recently approved a zoning change that removes height restrictions, allowing the project to move forward without limitations. This ambitious development by Matteson Capital is poised to redefine the skyline and set new records in North America.1

Zoning Approval and Project Details

rendering of the completed tallest skyscraper
Credit: AO

The Oklahoma City Council approved the zoning change on June 4, allowing the proposed Legends Tower to exceed previous height limits.2 Initially planned to be 1,750 feet high, the tower’s height was increased following the council’s decision, making it the tallest skyscraper in the U.S., surpassing the One World Trade Center in Manhattan which stands at 1,776 feet .

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Components of the Tallest Skyscraper

rendering of the tallest skyscraper after completion
Credit: AO

The development, valued at $1.2 billion, will be executed in two phases. The first phase includes the construction of a base and three mid-rise towers, while the second phase will focus on the skyscraper itself, the Legends Tower. The project will feature a mix of residential, commercial, and hospitality spaces, including two apartment buildings, low-income housing, garages, and a Hyatt Dream Hotel with 480 rooms and 85 condos located 22 stories above parking and retail space.

Architectural and Structural Design

Legends Tower
Credit: AO

Thornton Tomasetti, a renowned structural consultant, is behind the design of Legends Tower. The building will have 134 floors and approximately 2.5 million square feet of space. The structural system is designed to be resilient against wind loads, tornadoes, and seismic forces. Wind tunnel testing and site-specific studies will inform the final structural details, ensuring the tallest skyscraper has the best stability and safety possible.

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Performance-Based Structural Design

The design approach for Legends Tower employs Performance-Based Structural Design (PBSD), which offers higher predictability and performance compared to standard building codes. This method allows for sophisticated solutions like outriggers and dampers to enhance the building’s stiffness and strength. This innovative approach is essential given the tower’s slender aspect ratio of about 16:1, which presents unique engineering challenges .

Controversial Signage on America’s Tallest Skyscraper

Las Vegas Strip
Credit: Pixabay

One of the most debated features of Legends Tower has been its proposed digital signage. The initial plans included extensive digital displays akin to those seen in Las Vegas. This aspect faced significant opposition during the rezoning process. To address these concerns, the developers agreed to submit a detailed signage package, ensuring that no billboards or accessory signs would be permitted. This revised approach aims to balance visual appeal with community standards.

Timeline and Next Steps

Oklahoma's current skyline
Credit: Getty

Originally slated to begin this summer, construction for the tallest skyscraper in America has been delayed to the fall. The project requires further approvals from city council as it progresses, with the final design and construction phases carefully planned to meet all regulatory requirements and community expectations. If the project stays on track, the second phase, which includes the construction of the skyscraper, is expected to start in about two years.


New York City Skyline
Credit: Pixabay

The approval of the Legends Tower marks a significant milestone for Oklahoma City, positioning it at the forefront of architectural innovation in the United States. As the tallest skyscraper in the country upon completion, it will not only transform the city’s skyline but also demonstrate advanced engineering and design practices. With meticulous planning and execution, the Legends Tower is set to become a landmark of modern urban development.

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  1. The tallest skyscraper in the US has just been approved for ‘unlimited’ height.” NY Post. Hannah Frishberg. June 10, 2024.
  2. Oklahoma City Council OKs Plan for North America’s Tallest Tower.”ENR. Richard Korman and Nadine M. Post. June 5, 2024.