Ostankino Tower & World Federation of Great Towers

I don’t remember exactly why I found myself looking up Moscow‘s Ostankino Tower, a 1772 ft (540 m) tall radio-television tower. Compared to the world’s tallest buildings, it’s taller than all the greats: the Taipei 101, the Sears Tower, Empire State Building, though some people keep towers — even those with observation platforms — in a category separate from skyscrapers.

So what’s a tower enthusiast to do? Go take a look at the World Federation of Great Towers (also at Wikipedia). That’s how I found the Olympic Tower, in Montreal.

The Federation makes no distinction between towers and skyscrapers. Well, actually, there are some distinctions. Here’s their membership criteria:

  • Structures must have the shape of a tower
  • Structures must be symbolic of tourism in the town or country where they are situated
  • Structures must have an Observation or Viewing Deck, with the purpose of receiving tourists at the Tower
  • The construction of the tower must be completed and the tower open and functioning as an observatory/public venue

Oh, there’s a $1500 annual membership fee. And, yeah, there are a few conspicuous absences. It’s not clear if they don’t meet the criteria, or if they just don’t pay, but you won’t find Petronas Towers, or Sears, or a lot of others in the in the list. So back to Wikipedia for their list of the world’s tallest structures, including radio towers, chimneys, pylons, minarets, oil platforms, silos, buildings in-progress, and skyscrapers that aren’t eligible for World Federation of Great Towers.

But as great and tall as all these things may be, they still have nothing on our Warren Rocket.

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