Discover the Tallest Building in Wisconsin and Where It Ranks in the U.S.

Wisconsin, renowned for its dairy industry, lakes, and forests, boasts not only natural wonders but also impressive skyscrapers. This article delves into the tallest building in Wisconsin and its national ranking.

The Pinnacle: U.S. Bank Center

The towering icon of Wisconsin is the U.S. Bank Center, situated in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city. Soaring to a height of 601 feet (183 meters) with 42 floors, this modernist skyscraper was finalized in 1973 under the name First Wisconsin Center. Over the years, it underwent nomenclature changes, evolving into the Firstar Center and eventually adopting its current moniker in 2002.

Designed by the esteemed architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill—responsible for the Willis Tower in Chicago and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai—the U.S. Bank Center earned the Distinguished Building Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1974.

Serving as the headquarters for U.S. Bank Wisconsin, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, one of the nation’s largest banks, the building also houses offices for prominent firms such as Foley & Lardner, Robert W. Baird & Co., and KPMG. An impressive skywalk connects it to Milwaukee City Hall and the Shops of Grand Avenue.

National Standing

Beyond its prominence in Wisconsin, the U.S. Bank Center holds a noteworthy position nationally. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, as of 2021, it claims the 131st spot among the tallest buildings in the United States. An additional distinction is its status as the tallest building outside coastal states.

While impressive on its own, the U.S. Bank Center yields to towering structures in metropolises like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The title of the tallest building in the U.S. currently belongs to the One World Trade Center in New York, soaring at 1,776 feet (541 meters) with 104 floors, completed in 2014 as a poignant memorial after the 9/11 attacks.

Other Noteworthy Wisconsin Structures

The architectural landscape of Wisconsin extends beyond the U.S. Bank Center. Other remarkable skyscrapers contribute to the skylines of Milwaukee and other cities in the state:

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons: Securing the second spot in Wisconsin’s height hierarchy, this structure stands tall at 550 feet (167 meters) with 32 floors, completed in 2017. Serving as the headquarters for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, it features a glass exterior, a sail-like curved shape, and includes a public plaza and a museum highlighting the company’s history and the city’s.

100 East Wisconsin: Claiming the third spot, this building rises to 549 feet (167 meters) with 37 floors, reaching completion in 1989. Embracing a postmodern interpretation of old German vernacular architecture, it exhibits a red granite facade and a copper-clad dome reminiscent of a beer stein. It accommodates various firms, including Quarles & Brady, Godfrey & Kahn, and Baird Private Wealth Management.

Milwaukee City Hall: Holding the 10th position in Wisconsin, this historic structure stands at 353 feet (108 meters) with 15 floors, finalized in 1895. Once the world’s tallest habitable building and Milwaukee’s tallest for nearly 80 years, it showcases a Flemish Renaissance Revival style and a recognizable clock tower. Functioning as the city government’s seat, it hosts diverse events and ceremonies.


While not synonymous with towering skyscrapers, Wisconsin unveils architectural gems reflecting its rich history, culture, and economy. The U.S. Bank Center, reigning as the state’s tallest building and ranking among the nation’s tallest, stands as a modernist masterpiece dominating Milwaukee’s skyline. Alongside it, structures like the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, 100 East Wisconsin, and Milwaukee City Hall contribute to the state’s architectural allure, embodying a blend of height, beauty, functionality, and symbolism—truly worthy of exploration and admiration.


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