One World Trade Center is now under construction at the site where the twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks. And even though it's still unfinished, The Huffington Post
reports that it passed a milestone on Monday, 4/30/12, claiming the title of New York City's tallest skyscraper. Even though the monolith is just 1,250 feet high, that is just enough to climb above the roof of the observation deck on the Empire State building.
David Samson, chairman of the Port Authority, which owns the World Trade center land and the buildings on it, was joined by city officials and construction workers to applaud as the first 12-ton column was hoisted onto the building's top deck.
"This project is much more than steel and concrete. It is a symbol of success for the nation."
Of course, this is all very preliminary. Floors are still being added and the structure is not expected to reach completion for at least another year. When it does, however, it is likely to be declared the tallest building in the U.S., and might even grab the title of the third tallest in the world. That could wind up being disputed because atop this building will be a 408-foot-tall needle, which will add considerably to its height. Inhabit
reports that when it is finished, One World Trade Center will reach 1,776 feet with the antenna spire. The height was chosen to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The blueprints call for the tower's roof to stand at 1,368 feet, exactly the same height as the north tower of the original World Trade Center. But if the needle is not taken into account, One World Trade Center would wind up being shorter than Chicago's Willis Tower, the former Sears Tower, which tops out at 1,451 feet.
Skyscraper fans have been debating which buildings were higher for years on the Internet, but the Council on Tall Buildings has indicated it is willing to give One World Trade Center the edge. Nathaniel Hollister, a spokesman for The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats, a Chicago-based organization considered an authority on such records says,
"This is something we have discussed with the architect. As we understand it, the needle is an architectural spire which happens to enclose an antenna. We would thus count it as part of the architectural height."