The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has officially titled the 1,776 feet-tall New York City’s One World Trade Center the tallest building in the U.S.
According to The Business Insider, the committee is the go-to body for determining building heights around all over the world.
The key problem when estimating whether the building should be named the tallest in the worls, was One WTC’s 408-foot spire and if it could be considered part of the building’s total height.
The committee, which announced its decision on Tuesday morning in Chicago, concluded that the needle was technically a permanent part of the building.
“We were very satisfied with the detailed information presented by the team, in particular, that which affirmed that the structure on top of the building is meant as a permanent architectural feature, not a piece of functional-technical equipment,” Timothy Johnson, Chairman of CTBUH and Design Partner at NBBJ, said in a press release.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented on the committee decision.
“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,” he told reporters.
In case you didn’t know: the World Trade Center was built as a monument to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and its architects intended to capture the echo of America’s founding year in the structure’s height.
Its height without the spire also holds symbolism; it is the height of the original World Trade Center into which crashed two planes.
“This was a quest to put something meaningful and symbolic on that site because of the horrible history of what happened on that site,” said Antony Wood, the council’s executive director.
Tourists photographing the skyscraper Tuesday agreed that when it comes to height measurements, this spire should be taken into account.
“For any other building, no. But for this one, yes,” said Cary Bass, of Lake Mary, Fla., as he waited to enter the National Sept. 11 Memorial at the new skyscraper’s feet. “Those people deserve it,” he said, referring to the attack victims.
“It’s a special building,” agreed Paul Schlagel, visiting from Longmont, Colo.
The new World Trade Center builing is still being constructed. It’s scheduled for opening next year.
“The designers originally had intended to enclose the mast’s communications gear in decorative cladding made of fiberglass and steel. But the developer removed that exterior shell from the design, saying it would be impossible to properly maintain or repair. Without it, the question was whether the mast was now primarily just a broadcast antenna,” Newser writes.
“Under the council’s current criteria, spires that are an integral part of a building’s aesthetic design count. Broadcast antennas that can be added and removed do not,” the publication adds.