It’s official – One World Trade Center is now the tallest building in the United States at a symbolic height of 1,776 feet. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced on Tuesday that its Height Committee met in Chicago to rule in favor of counting the spire that adds around 400 feet to the top of One World Trade Center, helping it beat out Chicago’s Willis Tower (which measures 1,450 feet) for the title.

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Image © A Yee

Many proud Chicagoans will surely debate the merits of the ruling, calling the mast structure an antenna, not a spire, which should not be counted as a permanent part of the building. However, the 25-member committee was convinced after hearing a presentation from One World Trade Center chief architect David Childs, project director Ken Lewis and the design team at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

With the ruling, One World Trade Center will move all the way up to third place among the tallest buildings in the world upon completion in 2014. Only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 2,717 feet and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia at 1,972 feet will be taller. The Willis Tower will be the tenth tallest building in the world.

“The design of One World Trade Center, as explained to us, reinforces its role as a symbol of resurgence on this important site,” said CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood. “In particular, the spire which holds the beacon light, shining out at the symbolic height of 1,776 feet, is especially poignant – echoing the similarly symbolic beacon atop the Statue of Liberty across the water.”

+ Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

+ One World Trade Center

Via New York Times

Lead image via SMO/CTBUH