Some of the world’s most iconic skylines are photographed so often that it’s almost impossible to imagine them looking any different than they do now. But even New York City, Hong Kong and London have been altered over the decades. The changes were spurred by economic success (or lack thereof), major historic events, population growth or shifting cultures.

For some places, the “then” in the “then and now” equation was only a few decades ago. Many of London’s most visible modern landmarks, for example, are less than 20 years old. Other places have a mixture of buildings, creating an architectural timeline that offers a visual story of the city’s history.

Phoenix

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THEN: In the 1940s, Phoenix only had a handful of high rises. NOW: The skyline of downtown Phoenix has been growing since the 1970s.

When it comes to skyscrapers, Phoenix, Arizona is not near the top of the list of American cities in terms of density of buildings. However, downtown stands out against the surrounding desert and residential areas.

Phoenix had a modest skyline until a building boom in the 1960s and ‘70s. The two current tallest buildings in the city, Chase Tower and US Bank Center, were constructed in the 1970s. Phoenix has several skyscraper projects underway. However, the metro area is rather decentralized, so a lot of development has taken place in suburbs like Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa and Tempe, which have become cities with their own list of impressive buildings.

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