What’s in a name? Apparently a lot when you’re vying for the title of “tallest building” in the U.S. Due to a change in architecture design that would change the top of the building to include an antenna instead of a spire, New York City’s One World Trade Center may fall short of being the tallest building in the U.S.
The developer is eliminating a fiberglass-and-steel enclosure around the 408-foot-tall needle stretching atop the 1,368-foot-tall tower, arguing it would be difficult to properly maintain and repair.
Without the enclosing it is unclear whether the needle will be considered a spire, thus part of the building, or simply an antenna, which wouldn’t count towards the building’s height. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey describe the needle as an “antenna tower”, speculating it will not be in the running for the tallest building in the U.S.—a distinction that is currently held by the Windy City’s Willis Tower a.k.a. Sears Tower.
The measurements for tall buildings are determined by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which stated, “at this point, since the building is far from completion, there is no final determination on the height of the One World Trade Center. A final determination will be made … based on analysis of the drawings and other information submitted by the building owner, development and consultant team.”
Learn more about the 1,368-foot-tall building and how it ranks among the world’s tallest (and most composite filled) designs in the September/October issue of Composites Manufacturing.