New Yorkers can't let Chicagoans have nice things. After much consternation and debate, the new skyscraper built to replace the World Trade Center's twin tower was officially granted the "tallest building" title, stealing the crown from the Windy City's Willis Tower.
DNAInfo reports that the Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (which is a real thing) ruled that New York's One World Trade Center is officially the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Arguments swirled for months over whether One World Trade really could claim to be the West's tallest building. That's because New York needed a boost to get over the top of its rival Chicago skyscraper.
One World Trade measures 1,776 feet tall when the 408-foot needle-like antenna is considered. That's some 325 feet taller than the 1,450-foot Willis Tower. The council needed to decide whether One World Trade's pointy top was considered a needle or a spire: A spire ruling would mean it counts towards the building's height while a needle would stay off the books, giving Chicago the win. So check your privilege, New Yorkers, because One World Trade barely escaped with victory. But don't let that stop you from marvelling at the building's magnificence, either. Or from measuring how many of you it would take to reach the top.
Don't start bragging to your Canadian or Middle Eastern friends just yet. Toronto's CN Tower remains the tallest free-standing structure in the hemisphere, while the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is still the tallest building on Earth. One World Trade will come in third, behind the Abraj Al Bait "Clock Tower" in Mecca.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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