Installation of One World Trade Center’s Antenna Begins

Despite the repetitive and ongoing disputes that have delayed construction of the new World Trade Center since the early 2000s, the final piece of the project’s largest tower has finally arrived in New York City. Shipped by barge from Canada, the components for One World Trade Center’s antenna are now in the process of being installed, with the latest photos from DNA Info showing the antenna being lifted up into the air.

One WTC’s antenna, in motion: Image from DNA Info and Theodore Parisienne

There has been significant controversy surrounding the antenna, which was originally supposed to be a spire. The distinction is trivial but matters for the building’s official height, as measured by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. A spire is an architectural element, an antenna is not. Thus, given the loss of the radome which covered the antenna and formerly distinguished One World Trade Center’s roof element as a spire, the building’s official height will likely be under 1,400 feet.

Antenna vs. Spire: Image from Skyscrapercity user Patrykus

One World Trade Center’s antenna will still rise to 1,787 feet, but it likely will not be counted as the building’s architectural tip. Though the tower now holds the title of New York’s tallest, that will soon shift to 432 Park Avenue, which will have its architectural peak at 1,398 feet.

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6 Comments on "Installation of One World Trade Center’s Antenna Begins"

  1. There is no indication that the new structure isn’t a spire, per the CTBUH guidelines.

    This will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, unless 225 W57 beats it (225 height has been reported as tall as 1700, but I’ve never seen 1787).

  2. That is incorrect. The distinguishing element between the two was the radome, which was removed. I won’t say for certain, but given the change in the building’s design, the new roof element will likely be viewed as an antenna by the CTBUH.

  3. What stations will broadcast from here and when will they go live?

  4. I thought the CTBUH only cares whether the element is permanent as opposed to temporary. Thus, the Bank of American and NYT building elements that look very plain (and antena-like) are considered part of the height of the buildings. The Willis tower’s elements do not count because they vary in size depending on demand for broadcast space and if there were no broadcast contracts would be removed altogether. The element on top of OneWTC will be put in place as part of the redesign (to be clear, aesthetically, I am no fan of the redesign) that is part of the permanent structure and will likely be counted based on that fact alone.

  5. Unfortunately I do not know which radio stations will be broadcast, but I would assume they would go live in 2014.

    I do believe that permanence is not a qualification, but again, that could be incorrect. The mast on top of the original North Tower were similar to what will be atop 1 WTC and those were not counted in the overall height.

  6. Thanks for your reply about the broadcasters.

    I just found this oldish article which leads me to believe that maybe they don’t have any broadcasters lined up yet and that there may not be much incentive for them to switch back from the ESB. I guess we will see.

    http://www.radioworld.com/article/developer-plans-broadcast-spire-for–wtc-in-new-york/213795

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