My apartment unit is on 16th floor so i get a good view of the city. I wish to get a telescope with the purpose of urban viewing such as checking out architecture / buildings 5-8 miles away.
Binoculars are not powerful enough for that but will a telescope an overkill? What kind of magnifying power do i need to see something 8 miles away?
Telescopes can indeed be used for terrestrial observation but you need to be aware that a refractor (the 'classic' long thin telescope with a lens at each end) will produce an inverted image so an erecting prism/diagonal will be required if you wish to see things 'correctly'. Image inversion isn't generally a problem when the telescope is used for astronomy.
Reflectors also invert/reverse the image and can also rotate it depending where on the instrument the eyepiece is positioned. Due to the need for collimation, or mirror alignment, reflectors are arguably less suitable for the novice user.
Something else to be aware of is the claimed possible magnification that many introductory telescopes advertise. Just because an instrument has a theoretical magnification of perhaps x300, doesn't mean that this will necessarily produce a clear, usable image at the eyepiece.
If this is something you a seriously interested in, I would advise joining the Stargazers Lounge forum - they are both very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable.
well as long as it's for architecture appreciation and not peeping tommery...
you might be better with a spotter scope / birdwatching scope and a decent photographic tripod - image will be the correct way round without any additional optics and you can get a zoom function which is probably more convinient than rummaging through different eyepieces.