One World Trade Center will officially take the title of America’s tallest building when it’s completed next year, beating out Chicago’s Willis Building.
The question of which building would hold the tallest title was complicated by the needle that will sit at the top of the WTC building, CNN said
. But the organization that tracks tall buildings worldwide, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, decided that the needle is a permanent part of the structure and therefore should be counted.
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With the 408-foot needle, the WTC building will be 1,776 feet tall, edging out the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, which juts 1,451 feet into the Chicago skyline.
At a press conference, a spokesperson for CTBUH said antennas and other items aren’t considered part of a building's height because they are impermanent. But the needle on the WTC building is an architectural element and will be permanently attached, which means it is included in the height measurements.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took issue with the decision, telling USA Today
and other reporters, “I just saw the decision, and I would just say to all the experts gathered in one room, if it looks like an antenna, acts like an antenna, then guess what? It is an antenna.”
Emanuel also made the point that people can’t travel to the top of the needle to get the stunning view that they do from Willis Tower.
One World Trade Center will be the third tallest building in the world; the No. 1 spot is held by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which is 2,717 feet tall.
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