It opened on a cold August night 15 years ago when fire works and army abseilers lighted up a $75 million project that was set to change the Auckland skyline forever.
At 328 metres, the world's 28th tallest tower took more than two years to build, using 15,000 cubic metres of concrete and almost 3000 tonnes of steel.
Plans for the tower date back to 1987, but they didn't gain momentum until 1994 and within three years, on August 3, 1997, it had its grand opening.
The tower was to be modelled on Canada's CN Tower which stands more than 600m tall, and architect Gordon Moller said he had initially envisioned a pou, or pole in the ground.
As well as jutting into the sky, the tower's foundations go more than 15m below ground.
It is designed to withstand the harshest of conditions with winds gusting to 200 km/h which can result in sway at the top of the concrete shaft of about one metre.
In the extreme event of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurring within 20 kilometres of the tower, analysis shows that Sky Tower would remain standing.
There are 1,267 steps from the base of Sky Tower to the Sky Deck which would take 29 minutes to walk at a speed of 4km/h.
On a clear day you can see approximately 82 kilometres from the Sky Tower - as far north as Leigh Peninsula, as far east as Great Barrier Island, as far west as the Waitakere Ranges, and as far south as the Bombay Hills.
Next Friday, SkyCity is celebrating Sky Tower’s 15th birthday with a three-day party letting Aucklanders experience the tower's thrill seeking sights at heavily discount prices.
Admission to the tower is just $15 for adults and eight dollars for those six to 14. Under fives are free.
Those wanting to mark the occasion more adventurously can jump off the tower for $145 or test their nerve with a two for the price of one Sky Walk.
Huge interactive touch screens which are linked to cameras at the top of the tower will be available for the public to use and explore greater Auckland.
The Sky Tower birthday runs from Friday August 17 to Sunday August 19.
THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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