7 Eerie Abandoned Skyscrapers Around the World

From a distance, you may never know that one—or many—high-rises dotting a city skyline are actually abandoned skyscrapers. But get closer, and certain tells will demonstrate the truth: absent windows, unfinished cladding, graffiti, overgrown plants, and most obviously, the noticeable lack of people entering or leaving the structure. This reality exists in metropolises across the world from Baghdad to Los Angeles, Beirut to Tianjin.

There are a number of reasons these project are left untouched; however, wars and financial crises are among the most common and have resulted in both finished and unfinished buildings standing empty. While they can be difficult reminders of bygone eras, grander dreams, or painful conflicts, there is often a lesson in their austere existence. They teach us about the world around us, and if we listen, can be powerful tools to ensure future buildings don’t succumb to the same fate. Below, AD surveys seven abandoned skyscrapers around the world and uncovers how and why they were left behind.

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