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Head In The Clouds: The World’s 15 Tallest Buildings

In the ever-changing global skyline, architects and urban planners are always vying for the distinction of erecting the world’s tallest building. The list seems to fluctuate daily, as big cities around the world strive for that architectural design that will put them at the top of the list, however fleeting its place there may be.

After holding the top position for 40 years, the Empire State Building has now fallen to 25th on the list. Here are (currently) the 15 tallest buildings in the world.

tallest buildings burj khalifa dubai

Source: Flickr

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New York Castles: Proof That Dynasty Didn’t Die With Democracy

As history books so often explain to young students, the United States was the product of a relentless desire for self-governance and a retreat from European monarchical rule. Yet, in the United States new concentrations of dynastic power would emerge, generate much of the nation’s wealth and absorb most of its resources and influence. These people couldn’t seem to shake the habit of constructing European-inspired estates and castles to display wealth, importance and circumstance. Appropriately, no state has as many impressive ones as the Empire State.

America’s entrepreneurial families, which included the Duponts, Rockefellers and Goulds, would look to Europe for inspiration in building their castles and have left monolithic representations of America’s redefined royalty across the landscape. From the bustling city to rural mountains, here are 10 of New York’s most resplendent castles.

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Oheka Castle

New York Castles Oheka

Taylor Swift is the most recent star to bring the Oheka castle in Huntington, New York back to relevancy with its appearance in her Blank Spaces music video. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Oheka Gardens

The sprawling mansion is the second largest residence in the United States and once belonged to financier Otto Hermann Kahn. Source: Grace Ormonde

New York Castles Oheka Night

The castle was constructed between 1909 and 1914 and has 127 rooms. The palatial mansion has been in several movies and the site of multiple celebrity weddings. Source: Fast Business Lifestyle

The Cloisters

New York Castles Cloisters

Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller reconstructed his own Game of Thrones set in Fort Tryon Park when he had pieces from five European abbeys shipped to the United States, and reconstructed and integrated with other buildings between 1934 and 1939. Source: Metropolitan Museum

New York Castles Cloisters Hudson

The resulting home is now an extensive collection of Medieval European art and artifacts. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Cloisters Apse

Even the cloistered gardens were constructed around medieval horticultural knowledge, and feature herbs used at the time. Source: Pompei Hotels

Wings Castle

New York Castles Wings

Wings Castle is a live-in art project still under construction by owners Peter and Toni Ann Wing. Source: Colorado Explorers

New York Castles Wings Top

The castle is fit for a king but made with a pauper’s mindset. Eighty percent of the building’s materials are recycled and repurposed. Source: Wordpress

New York Castles Wings Winter

Nestled in Millbrook, the castle features a Bed and Breakfast, and offers visitors small rooms where one can act out their own “Lord of the Rings” fantasy. Source: Wings Castle

Boldt Castle

New York Castles Boldt Aerial

Boldt Castle rises over Heart Island in the Thousand Islands of the Saint Lawrence River along the northern border of New York. Source: Love These Pics

New York Castles Boldt House

Built by George Boldt, the general manager of the opulent Waldorf-Astoria, it wasn’t a testament to money, but love. Source: Blogspot

New York Castles Boldt

Boldt had commissioned the six-story castle’s construction for his wife in 1900, but construction halted after four years, when she died. The island sat abandoned until 1977 when the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired it. Modern improvements have since been made to the structures, while maintaining their royal appearance. Source: Love These Pics

Singer Castle

New York Castles Singer

Singer Castle was constructed on Dark Island in the Saint Lawrence River in 1905 during the heyday of the “great builders” in New York, which saw large-scale industrial growth and estate building. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Singer Side

Frederick Bourne was a self-made millionaire when he asked renowned architect Ernest Flagg to design the castle. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Singer Green

Flagg would create an imposing structure that watches over the St. Lawrence River like a fortress. Source: Info Barrel

The Olana Mansion

New York Castles Olana

Once the home of landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church, the Olana mansion could easily have been featured in one of his paintings. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Olana Plaza

The castle overlooks a working farm and has tremendous views of the Catskills and the Taconic Range. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Olana Side

The unique castle was inspired by a fortress treasure house in Armenia, combing features of Moorish, Persian and Victorian architecture. The New York State Office of Parks currently manages the castle that’s also a residence, studio and estate complex. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Bannerman

In Beacon looms an imposing island fortress, Bannerman Arsenal. Built by Frank Bannerman, an arms dealer, in 1908, the castle sits on a supposed haunted island. Source: Wikimedia

Bannerman Arsenal

Bannerman designed trails and gardens on the island, along with a residence and multiple other buildings. The island was transferred to the state of New York in 1967. Source: Headfirst Adventures

Bannerman Flowers

Source: Blog CDN

Castle Gould

New York Castles Gould

Railroad tycoon Jay Gould commissioned Augustus N. Allen to design Castle Gould on Sands Point as a replica of Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Gould Summer

When the castle wasn’t to his wife’s liking, Gould threw more money at the project and had the Hempstead House built. Eventually, the estate was sold to the Guggenheims. Source: The Sands Point Preserve

New York Castles Gould Driveway

The castle became stables and servants quarters, and now houses a visitor center and stage, managed by Nassau County. Source: News Day

Reid Castle

New York Castles Reid

Newspaper editor and author Whitelaw Reid had the epic Reid castle built in 1892 in Purchase, New York. The gardens were decorated with trees imported from France and England. Source: Wordpress

New York Castles Reid Green

The halls were decorated with items acquired when Reid served as ambassador to both England and France. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Addition

Eventually, the castle was bought by Manhattanville College when it moved from Manhattan to Purchase in 1952. Source: Art Stor

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere castle was originally built as a folly castle, or a castle that served only as an exterior castle, with no real purpose. Source: Wikimedia

Belvedere Pond

It now belongs to the Central Park Conservancy and is host to nature programs, serving a more important purpose than just a visual one. Source: Central Park

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Nothing Says Happy New Year Like 13 Tons Of Candy

Craig & Karl

Source: designboom

They’re calling it a candy carpet, and it’s taking over China. Artists Craig & Karl teamed up with Hong Kong creative studio AllRightsReserved to build “Sweet as One,” a lighthearted candy installation that features blooming flowers, pandas and colorful patterns. Constructed out of 13 tons of candy, the installation was built to celebrate the Chinese New Year and–as odd as it may seem–to draw attention to the plight of underprivileged children in rural areas.

13 Tons of Candy Art

Source: designboom

Candy Installation Up Close

Source: Co.Design

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