01452 372229

Building News

Information, news and updates in the world of building.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

The World’s Smallest Skyscraper!

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

I am not advocating anyone getting involved in a scam but if you watch and enjoy programmes and films such as BBC’s Hustle, The Usual Suspects or The Sting then you’ll love this true story.

Back in 1919 skyscrapers were all the rage in America and an enterprising contractor called J D McMahon announced he was going to build one in the booming town of Wichita Falls in Texas.

He managed to raise funds of $200,000, estimated at nearly £3 million today, but the completed Newby-McMahon Building stood just 40ft tall. How did he manage to fool his investors into parting with their hard earned cash?


When talking about the project McMahon made sure he never stated how tall the building would be. Then when he showed the investors the blueprints the height was marked as 480” – that is inches, not feet. Nobody picked up the discrepancy so instead of getting a mighty state of the art 480ft skyscraper they were presented with a pygmy of just 40ft high!

So remember to not only check the small print but also the scale of the drawings.

(Source - citymetric)