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The World's Littlest Skyscraper

Located at 701 LaSalle Street in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, is the Newby-McMahon Building, a small 4-story structure that has been referred to as the “world’s littlest skyscraper”— a title it received from Ripley's Believe It or Not! When the building was built in 1919, structural engineers from Philadelphia made one small but critical mistake — nobody noticed that the scale of the blueprints was in inches rather than feet. Soon, investors realized they had been swindled into purchasing a 4-story building that was only 480 inches tall, rather than the 480 feet structure they were paying for. They filed a lawsuit against petroleum landman J.D. McMahon, but by then McMahon had absconded with their money. With the passage of time, it has survived tornadoes, a fire, and decades of neglect to stand as a monument to the greed, graft, and gullibility of the oil boom days of North Texas. Aside from serving as a local tourist attraction, today the building is home to an antiques dealership.