The Durst Organization yesterday (Tuesday) welcomed an official ruling from the Council on Tall Buildings that 1 World Trade Center is the tallest building in America.
The official arbiter of building heights around the world said the height to the building’s architectural top is 1,776 ft., a symbolically significant figure for the skyscraper built on the site on the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“The Port Authority of NY & NJ, The Durst Organization, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have long celebrated the height of 1,776 feet as an unwavering principal of One World Trade Center’s design,ˮ said spokesman Jordan Barowitz.
“This iconic building represents the resilience of America and today’s decision recognizes One World Trade Center’s rightful place in history.ˮ
The Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat said that when completed and occupied early next year,1 WTC will surpass the Willis Tower in Chicago as the Tallest Building in North America.
It will likely be the third tallest building in the world behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (2,717 ft) and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudia Arabia (1,972 ft.)
Doubts were first raised over the official height of 1WTC when experts began to debate whether the needle at the top was actually part of the tower of an antenna.
“The design of the World Trade Center, as explained to us, reinforces its role as a symbol of resurgence on this important site,ˮ said CTBUH executive director Antony Wood.
“In particular, the spire which holds the beacon light, shining out at the symbolic height of 1,776 ft, is especially poignant — echoing the similarly symbolic beacon atop the Statue of Liberty across the water.”
The design height of 1WTC was set to commemorate the year of the Declaration of Independence of the United States from Great Britain.
Architect David Childs, os Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, gave the CTBUH committee a 15-minute presentation on the design and stated, “I feel completely satisfied that this building achieved what it set out to do.
“Beginning in 2005, we used the Council’s rules and designed around them. It’s an important statement for all of us to make.”
The spire-antenna distinction is what makes the difference in the measurement of “height to architectural topˮ and “height to tip.” Childs noted the mast contains two revolving reflectors with LED lights, a required FAA warning light and a 16 ft lightning rod.
The CTBUH committee said these made the structure “functional technical equipment and deemed them permanent.