World Trade Center tower surpasses Empire State

World Trade One (left), and the Empire State Building. (CBS/AP)
World Trade One (left), and the Empire State Building. (CBS/AP)


Posted: April 30th, 2012

The new One World Trade Center – under construction on the site of the original World Trade Center, destroyed in the 9/11 terror attacks – has surpassed the height of the Empire State Building to become New York City’s tallest building.

Workers erected steel columns that make the unfinished frame of the building a little more than 1,250 feet high – the level of the Empire State Building’s highest observation deck.

The tower still isn’t as high as the antenna that sits on the Empire State Building, but when complete will stand at 1,368 feet, beating out the midtown skyscraper that was for decades the world’s tallest. When counting a 408-foot-tall antenna spire that will sit on its roof, the “Freedom Tower” will measures 1,776 feet.

Discounting the antenna, it will still be the second-highest building in the U.S., after the Willis Tower in Chicago. (Experts usually don’t count antennas or flagpoles when measuring building height.)

Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest free-standing structure in the world until 1967 (when Moscow’s Ostankino Tower was completed), and lost its status as New York City’s tallest building when the original World Trade Center (at 1,368 feet high, plus a 359-foot antenna) was completed in 1972.

Now it is being demoted again.

Experts and architects have long disagreed about where to stop measuring super-tall buildings outfitted with masts, spires and antennas that extend far above the roof.

If the Empire State Building were measured from the sidewalk to the tip of its needle-like antenna, it actually stands 1,454 feet high, well above One World Trade Center’s elevation today.

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