Wichita Falls, Texas: World's Smallest Skyscraper

Only four stories tall, and skinny. Built by a con man who duped the city into believing he would build a 40 story skyscraper. Stands out in an otherwise low-rise section of town.
Address:
La Salle Ave., Wichita Falls, TX
Directions:
Known as the McMahon Building, built of red brick and very skinny. Northeast side of downtown. At the corner of 7th and La Salle Sts, just south of the railroad tracks.
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Smallest skyscraper. World's Smallest Skyscraper

It's about to be on the Discovery Channel! So much smaller than you'd imagine.

[Ashley, 03/24/2014]

Yet not so small that the Discovery Channel couldn't eventually discover it!

Smallest skyscraper. World's Smallest Skyscraper

Not only is this tiny skyscraper only 4 stories tall, but each story is only a fraction of the size of a true story level. This was part of the con. The plans were scaled in inches instead of feet. The result...a 4-story building only about 10-ft. X 16-ft.

[Carla, 07/03/2008]
World's Smallest Skyscraper

Built during the 1920's oil boom by a traveling con-man/promoter, the building is only four stories tall. No one noticed that all the plans, promotional literature, etc. had tiny decimal points in all the crucial figures. i.e. 4.0 stories was taken as 40 stories. The project was oversubscribed by quite a bit and the project built to completion, upon which the promoter skipped town.

The investors started trying to sue or arrest him when the swindle became evident during construction, but were unable to since the contract was followed to the letter. They did recover a few dollars from the elevator company (who refused to honor their contract after they discovered the decimal points). Unable to get the crook, the investors funded a team which followed him around the country breaking up any deals he tried to put together.

The city was going to tear the building down in the early '60s when I first saw it, but the wife of a wealthy Dallas buisinessman thought it too cute to tear down and talked him into buying it for her. It's still there and I check each time I'm in town just to see if it still exists.

[Bob Wedryk, 08/11/2001]

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October 25, 2014

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