Surprisingly, Arizona is one of the youngest states in the US, only after Hawaii and Alaska. It became a part of the US in 1912, but it has always been ahead of its time. In fact, Arizona had a capital before it even became a state in 1889, and a capitol building was constructed in 1901 before the state was established. Arizona is constantly growing and developing, with even the tallest buildings in the state being relatively young.
It’s possible that Phoenix is ahead of its time when it comes to buildings. The city boasts several postmodern masterpieces in its skyline, making it a unique destination. Interestingly, Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States, which is quite impressive.
These are the buildings that stand tall in Arizona.
1. Chase Tower
Bank centers tend to dominate the skyline of most places, and Arizona is no exception. Among the tallest buildings in the state are a dazzling pair of twins with a concrete sentinel nestled between them, almost like a mediator between two squabbling siblings. Chase Tower, which was finished in 1972, stands at an impressive height of 483 feet.
The downtown Phoenix skyline boasts a striking 40-story angular structure mostly made of steel. While the building has faced some challenges in the past few years, there is optimism for a potential rebound as it has recently undergone renovation.
2. U.S. Bank
The only other building in Arizona that stands over 400 feet tall is a significant step down from Chase. Despite this, it still manages to claim the runner-up spot for the highest point in Phoenix’s skyline, standing at 407 feet tall. The building features a unique, strudel-like vertical facade with alternating columns of windows. However, its rooftop has a slightly menacing appearance, with truncated corners that jut upwards, evoking a faintly medieval castle aesthetic.
The Bank of America building, also known as this fortress, was completed in 1974.
At nearly 400 feet tall, the Century Link tower stands out for more than just its height, coming close to joining the exclusive plus-400 club of towering structures.
The faded pink-striped facade of the building is beautifully contrasted by the green-turquoise glass hip-roof, giving it a unique Southwestern feel. The individual stories are easily distinguishable by the windows placed within the striped pattern.
Each of the four sides features a bas-relief style layer, with an added bump-out incorporated into it. The design is a frenzied display of geometric layering, which is a hallmark of postmodernism.
The U.S. West Tower, also referred to as Phoenix’s third-highest structure, was constructed back in 1989.
4. Western Alliance Bank Tower
The Western Alliance, which stands tall among the buildings in Phoenix’s skyline, was completed in 2010. Despite being the junior partner in the city’s architectural landscape, it boasts an impressive height and a striking appearance.
The central structure of Alliance Bank of Arizona is accentuated by some daring right-angle reliefs that add to its striking appearance. Unlike other bank center buildings that have an international or national vibe, this building seems to proudly represent Arizona as its headquarters.
The Alliance Bank Tower, a local favorite, stands at a height of 385 feet, which is only 12 feet shorter than the Century Link tower.
5. 44 Monroe – Residentially at the Top for Tallest Buildings in Arizona
Located in Phoenix’s upscale high-rise neighborhood, 44 Monroe offers luxurious high-rise living. The surrounding area boasts of high-end establishments such as The Wren and Wolf, a restaurant that exemplifies the exclusivity of the neighborhood. Despite being in Arizona, the towering building is comparable to those found in Greenwich, CT or Cambridge, MA. Standing tall behind Western Alliance, it is one of Arizona’s tallest buildings and was finished in 2008.
The Century Link’s postmodern vibe is reflected in this towering structure that features intricate geometric reliefs. The residents of this luxurious building are treated to breathtaking views through the generously-sized balconies and windows. Standing tall at 380 feet, it is only second to the Western Alliance Tower in terms of height and proudly holds the title of Arizona’s tallest residential building.
6. BMO Tower (formerly Viad)
In 1991, the BMO Tower, previously known as Viad, was constructed and has since become the fifth tallest tower in Arizona, standing at a height of 374 feet. Despite its stature, the BMO Tower holds an unexpected history.
Throughout the 20th century, the merger and acquisition of companies on a global scale led to the convergence of Greyhound Bus Lines and a German soap company that financed the construction of the distinctive, curvaceous high-rise. In the ensuing decades, various offshoots of these companies have owned the iconic building.
In 2016, a Canadian bank acquired the building after all the commotion had subsided.
Tied for 7. Two Renaissance Square
In 1990, the construction of the steel structure of Two Renaissance Square was completed. Interestingly, this building is the second in a series, the first being humorously named the “naissance” building. What’s more, Two Renaissance Square is connected to One Renaissance Square through a skywalk.
Food for the Poor, an international charity based in Arizona, has selected Two Renaissance, located in “Ren Square,” as its new headquarters.
You have to see it to believe it – the mostly-office high-rise is a geometric-nesting adventure! Tied in seventh place with another Phoenix building, it stands tall at a height of 372 feet.
Tied for 7. Wells Fargo
When we consider banking in the Western United States, Wells Fargo is likely the first institution that comes to mind. With roots dating back to the pioneer era and a company history spanning all the way back to 1852, Wells Fargo has a strong presence in the region. Surprisingly, the Wells Fargo bank center in Phoenix, built in 1971, is now the oldest notably tall building in the city.
According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, it is identical in height to Two Renaissance Square, measuring 372 feet.
Tallest Buildings in Arizona, the Capitol and Elsewhere Rising Upward
The buildings in Arizona are soaring higher, representing the state’s growth and resilience. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Arizona is a young yet significant state with a young yet significant capital.