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In the Battle of the Buildings, Freedom Wins

One World Trade Center towers over lower Manhattan on November 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The gorgeous and highly symbolic Freedom Tower in New York City was up against the former Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) in Chicago for bragging rights on which was the tallest, and I’m happy to say that the Freedom Tower has been pronounced the winner.

The Associated Press reports that the new World Trade Center tower in New York knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower off its pedestal as the nation’s tallest building when an international panel of architects announced Tuesday that the needle at the top of the skyscraper can be counted when measuring the structure’s height.

If the architects had determined that the 408 foot needle was an antenna instead of a spire, things would have turned out differently.

An antenna is not a permanent part of a building, but a spire is.

With the needle, 1 World Trade Center is 1,776 feet tall, but without the spire, the building would have been only 1,368 feet tall, well short of the 1,451-foot Willis Tower.

The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) rises above the city’s skyline on November 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The building stands 1,451 feet tall, not including the antennas. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

There is one thing that the Willis Tower has that the Freedom Tower doesn’t, and if you have vertigo like I do you don’t care because you couldn’t be given a winning Powerball ticket to stand on it.

It’s a 1,353 foot high glass ledge observatory:

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)




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