It's official: One World Trade Center to be tallest U.S. skyscra - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

It's official: One World Trade Center to be tallest U.S. skyscraper

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(CNN) -- One World Trade Center in New York City will be the United States' tallest building when completed, beating out Chicago's Willis Tower, according to an announcement Tuesday by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The independent organization certifies the official height of skyscrapers and acknowledges record-setting buildings. By the council's criteria, a building's architectural height may include spires and other structural elements, but not antennas, signage or flagpoles, according to its website.

There was some controversy over whether the structure at the top of One World Trade Center was a spire or an antenna. The council's height committee met on November 8 in Chicago to rule on the building's stature.

One World Trade Center's height to its architectural top is 1,776 feet (541.3 meters), according to the ruling. The Willis Tower's architectural height is 1,451 feet (442.1 meters).

Because One World Trade Center isn't yet finished and hasn't received its certificate of occupancy, it cannot be ranked as a "completed building," but "its height is no longer in dispute," the council said in a Tuesday press release.

"The design of One World Trade Center, as explained to us, reinforces its role as a symbol of resurgence on this important site," Antony Wood, the council's executive director, in a statement.

Upon completion, which is expected in early 2014, the New York skyscraper is expected to rank as the world's third-tallest building, after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

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