The Tallest Structure in Oregon Is Basically a Ladder to the Clouds

Written by Carrie Woodward
Updated: September 25, 2023
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Throughout the United States, people and companies have created enormous skyscrapers, sky-high cellphone towers, and landmark structures. You may be familiar with significant landmarks like the Stratosphere Tower or huge skyscrapers in major American cities, such as the One World Trade Center in New York City, the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) in Chicago, or the LA Grand Hotel in Los Angeles. However, these are all among the tallest buildings in the United States. What is the difference between the tallest building and the tallest structure in Oregon?

While skyscrapers are buildings, the tallest structures in the United States are typically antenna masts. In fact, with a few exceptions, the tallest structure in each state is an antenna mast. This is also the case for the tallest structure in the state of Oregon! In the next section, find the basics of what an antenna mast is and what it does. We’ll then examine the tallest structure in Oregon, covering its location, construction, and more!

telecommunication mast TV antennas wireless technology

The WTTO Television Tower is a television mast that stands at 2,000 feet and is the 7th tallest structure in the world.

©15703083/ via Getty Images

About Antenna Masts

Most of the tallest structures in the United States are constructions called “antenna masts.” Antenna masts are also known as “radio masts,” “radio towers,” or “television towers.” These structures are designed for antennas, typically for telecommunications and television broadcasting. With just a few exceptions, the tallest structures in the United States are all antenna masts. This is also the case for the tallest structure in the state of Oregon, the KPTX Television Tower.

There are two main types of antenna masts: self-supporting structures and guyed structures. A self-supporting structure can stand on its own. In contrast, a guyed mast or guyed tower relies on cables tethered to the ground. These cables are called “guy lines.” Though a guyed mast may be able to support its own weight through suppressive strength, it may not have enough shear strength to remain standing without support. Guy lines help to address this problem. Cables spaced out around an antenna mast’s base resist lateral forces. In turn, these help to keep the structure standing and stable.

The tallest guyed mast in the world is 2,063 feet tall and is located near Blanchard, North Dakota. Though this one is almost twice the height of the tallest structure in Oregon, both are incredibly tall!

The Tallest Structure in Oregon

The tallest structure in Oregon is the KPDX Television Tower. People completed construction on this television broadcasting tower in 1994. The KPDX company has used it ever since. The 1,081-foot (329-meter) structure is located in Portland, in Multnomah County, Oregon. This structure is a guyed mast. This means that it is supported by tensioned cables that are attached to the ground. These give the structure stability. For over 20 years, the KPDX Television Tower has been the tallest structure in Oregon. In fact, at more than 1,000 feet tall, it just about doubles the height of the tallest building in Oregon: the Wells Fargo Center. The Wells Fargo Center in Portland was completed in 1972 and stands at 546 feet tall. This means that it is dwarfed by the much taller KPDX Television Tower!

At 1,081 feet tall, the KPDX Television Tower stands even taller than the Eiffel Tower! The famous Paris landmark extends only 1,060 feet into the air! That should give you an idea of just how significant the scale of this structure really is.

elecommunication mast TV antennas wireless technology with blue sky in the morning

Most of the tallest structures in the U.S. are antenna masts.

©thanongsak kongtong/

About KPDX

KPDX is a television station operated from Vancouver, Washington. It serves Portland, Oregon, and is owned by Gray Television. Gray Television acquired the Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group for $2.8 billion in 2021. It also offers branded content as Fox 12 Plus and has since 2018, as an extension of Fox affiliate station KPTV’s branding. The Channel 49 KPDX station offers programming from the My Network TV network.

Today, KPTV offers a variety of programming, including news summaries, weather reports, traffic updates, live news coverage, and more. The Fox 12 coverage provides viewers with updates on major sporting events and local sports coverage, election results and political updates, and local information focused on residents and issues in the Portland area. The “Good Day Oregon” program has special features covering everything from local adventures in salmon fishing on the Columbia River to what to enjoy at the annual Oregon State Fair.

Thanks to the tallest structure in Oregon, the KPTX Television Tower, viewers can access regular and consistent television broadcasting across the Portland area.

Tilikum Crossing, over the Williamette River in Portland, Oregon.

KPTV serves the city of Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding area with television broadcasting.

©ESB Professional/

About Portland, Oregon

The tallest structure in Oregon, which is the KPDX Television Tower, is located in the city of Portland. Portland is one of the most well-known and popular cities in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is known for being environmentally conscious, friendly to bikers and pedestrians, full of delicious coffee and thriving restaurants, and having great proximity to incredible hikes and other opportunities for outdoor adventure.

This port city is the most populous city in Oregon and one that is full of unique neighborhoods, each with a distinct culture. The many visitors who travel to Portland each year love its arts and culture scene, many delicious restaurants, and the chance to explore the wonders of the Pacific coastline and forests of Oregon. However, this city is also a great place to live, with vibrant communities where people of all ages can flourish.

Portland farmers market

Portland, Oregon, is known for its vibrant communities, local food, culture and arts scene, and focus on sustainability.


Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is a super-unique city with plenty to do! Below are a few ideas of attractions to visit and activities to keep you busy on a trip to this unique port city. These are just ten ideas. There is so much more you could do on even a short weekend trip to Portland!

  1. Visit the famous bookstore Powell’s Books and shop from a wide selection of books, magazines, and more!
  2. Still through the Portland Japanese Garden to take in a tranquil garden setting and enjoy Japanese plant species.
  3. Take in incredible art and learn about talented artists at the Portland Art Museum.
  4. Feel like an ant next to giant redwood trees in the Hoyt Arboretum.
  5. Learn at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
  6. Stand in line to enjoy eating the famous Voodoo Donuts.
  7. Grab a cup of coffee at the popular Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee shop.
  8. Discover a bit of local history at the Pittock Mansion.
  9. See unusual animals at the Oregon Zoo.
  10. Spend some time strolling through Saturday farmers’ markets.

While these might be some of the most popular and well-known things to do in Portland, do not be afraid to venture off of the beaten path! From walking through Chinese or Japanese gardens, strolling through the arboretum or public parks, or hiking up nearby mountains in the surrounding region, there is plenty to keep you active. Yet if you find yourself with a rainy day or a need to stay clean and dry inside, Portland also has many cozy restaurants, coffee shops, museums, and shops to keep you busy on a drizzly or snowy afternoon.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pavone

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About the Author

Carrie is a writer and fan of all types of plants and animals. Her apartment is home to more than dozen different houseplants and she aspires to adopt more in the near future. You can find Carrie taking long walks or reading a book under the trees in the park.

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