"Unlimited height" approved for proposed tallest skyscraper in the US

Legends Tower

Oklahoma City Council has approved a rezoning application for Legends Tower, a supertall skyscraper designed by California architecture studio AO that, if completed, will be the tallest in the United States.

Yesterday, the Oklahoma City Council approved an “unlimited” height for the skyscraper, part of the Boardwalk at Bricktown development, which includes three smaller structures.

Legends tower
Oklahoma City Council has put through the rezoning

The decision comes after the initial approval for the height came in April from the city’s planning commission. Yesterday’s decision was the final approval hurdle for the tower.

The proposed plans for the skyscraper put forth by AO and developer Matteson Capital put the skyscraper as 1,907 feet tall (581 metres), significantly taller than the current tallest structure – the Freedom Tower in New York, which stands at 1776 feet tall (541 metres).

Project aims to “transform the city into a global destination”

If built, the tower will be the tallest in the US and the fifth tallest in the world.

“AO is delighted that the Oklahoma City Council has approved the development team’s request for unlimited height for the Boardwalk at Bricktown,” said AO.

“We are grateful that the City Council has embraced the vision of Matteson Capital and the entire design team to transform the city into a global destination.”

A rendering of Legends Tower, proposed for Oklahoma City

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"Legends Tower is a very 20th-century way to say that you are squarely entering the 21st century"

The original proposal was put forward earlier this year, with a height of 1,750 feet (533 metres) for the skyscraper. Shortly afterwards, the developer announced that they had changed the plans and were asking permission from the city to build at the currently approved height.

In March, the owner of Matteson Capital Scot Matteson told a local newspaper that “the entire project” had been financed already, and that construction could begin as early as June.

Construction planned for fall 2024

In the recent approval announcement, AO stated that construction is planned for fall 2024.

“AO and Matteson Capital eagerly anticipate the commencement of construction on the first buildings this Fall, and subsequent groundbreaking on the Legends Tower, poised to be the tallest building in the U.S. Once completed, the impact of the Boardwalk at Bricktown will be significant, felt locally in Oklahoma City and resonating across the globe,” said the studio.

The skyscraper will dwarf all others in the area and has raised questions about the reasons for such a large structure in a city with a population less than one million.

“Mid-size cities like OKC are in a better position than ever before to create an attractive environment for those who are either priced out or burned out of life in yesterday’s metropolis,” wrote Ryan Scavnicky for Dezeen, who questioned the implementation of the tower to address this trend away from the country’s traditional urban cores.

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