It’s one of the biggest debates in architecture, quite literally. In the heart of Manhattan, New York City has built the impressive One World Trade Center tower, AKA the Freedom Tower. According to some, it’s the tallest building in the United States of America. However, that claim drew cries of complaint from the heart of America’s midwest, where Chicago, Illinois and its various residents argued that their giant building, the Willis Tower, AKA the Sears Tower, is the tallest building in the United States because Willis Tower fans say that One World Trade’s giant radio spire shouldn’t count as part of the building’s overall height. The two sides took their debate to the experts, and the decision has been made. One World Trade Center is America’s tallest building at 1776 feet tall.
The Willis Tower is only officially 1451 feet tall, since it doesn’t feature any giant spires. The decision was left in the hands of the Height Committee of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the group that officiates all disputes of building height throughout the world. According to the executive director of the organization, Antony Wood, the key is permanence. The 408-foot spire at the top of One World Trade is officially part of the building because it’s a permanent part of the building.
Here’s hoping it will help New York City move along from the horrible events of 9/11, even if having the tallest building in the US is a small consolation for the thousands of deaths on that tragic day. At least it’s not a big hole in the ground anymore.
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