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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/2/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Rising phoenix-like from the ashes of 9/11, center neck-and neck with Willis Tower

The single One World Trade Center, being built to replace the twin towers destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has risen Phoenix-like from the ashes to reclaim its title of New York City's tallest skyscraper. Workers will build steel columns that will make its unfinished skeleton a little over 1,250 feet high, pushing it enough over the roof of the observation deck on the Empire State Building.

Experts and architects have long disagreed about where to stop measuring super-tall buildings outfitted with masts, spires and antennas that extend far above the roof.

Experts and architects have long disagreed about where to stop measuring super-tall buildings outfitted with masts, spires and antennas that extend far above the roof.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

5/2/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: World Trade Center, New York City, antennas, spires, record books

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Construction is still being added to the floors to the so-called "Freedom Tower." The center will not reach its full height for at least another year. At that time it will likely be declared the tallest building in the U.S., and third tallest in the world.

Exactitude on the tallest building, however, resides in the judgment of the beholder. The sticking point involves the 408-foot-tall needle that will sit on the tower's roof. With the needle, that World Trade Center is back on top -- otherwise, it will have to settle for No. 2, after the Willis Tower in Chicago.

"Height is complicated," Nathaniel Hollister, a spokesman for The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats says.

Experts and architects have long disagreed about where to stop measuring super-tall buildings outfitted with masts, spires and antennas that extend far above the roof.

The Empire State Building, measured from the sidewalk to the tip of its needle-like antenna, the granddaddy of all super-tall skyscrapers actually stands 1,454 feet high, well above the mark being surpassed by One World Trade Center.

Some maintain that antennas shouldn't count when determining building height. They say that an antenna is more like furniture than a piece of architecture. An antenna can be attached or removed. The Empire State Building didn't even get its distinctive antenna until 1952.

Excluding the antenna brings the Empire State Building's total height to 1,250 feet, still high enough to make the skyscraper the worlds tallest from 1931 until 1972.

The Empire State seems to tower over the second tallest completed building in New York, the Bank of America Tower. Experts argue that the thin mast on top of the Bank of America building isn't an antenna, but a decorative spire.

Unlike antennas, record-keepers like spires. It's a tradition that harkens back to a time when the tallest buildings in many European cities were cathedrals. Groups like the Council on Tall Buildings, and Emporis, a building data provider in Germany, both count spires when measuring the total height of a building, even if that spire happens to look exactly like an antenna.

Without a spire, the One World Trade Center would still be smaller than the Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower, which tops out at 1,451 feet -- not including its own antennas.


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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
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