A worker holds a guide rope as the final piece of spire is hoisted to the roof of One World Trade Center in New York on May 2, 2013. (Credit: AP)
An expert committee of architects declares that New York's new World Trade Center tower is now the tallest building in the U.S., surpassing Chicago's Willis Tower.
The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced its decision Tuesday in Chicago.
The committee is widely recognized as the final arbiter of official building heights around the world. It has been studying whether a design change means the needle atop 1 World Trade Center is part of the actual building or merely the equivalent of a broadcast antenna.
The tower built on the site of the 9/11 attacks stands at a symbolically important 1,776 feet tall including the 408-foot needle. It officially would have been considered 1,368 feet tall without the needle.
Willis Tower is 1,451 feet tall.
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