One World Trade Center has been officially crowned as the tallest building in the western hemisphere after a row that threatened to embarrass the building's designers and see it demoted to second place.
The debate centred over whether the 408ft steel structure on top of the New York skyscraper was a spire or an antenna. Supporters of the Willis Tower in Chicago argued it was an antenna, and so the building was only 1,368ft, rather than its stated height of 1,776ft.
But the 30 members of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's "height committee", who met on Friday, ruled that One World Trade Center reaches 1,776ft and its claim to be the tallest building in the western hemisphere is legitimate.
"We were very clear that it was a spire and not an antenna," said Timothy Johnson, chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat at a press conference in New York City on Tuesday. “Spires, we feel, are part of the architecture of the building that will not only be there permanently but have a significant effect on what the building is perceived to be,” Johnson said.Put a flag on the spire and see if anyone salutes it?