After weather conditions refused to cooperate on Monday, the final two sections of Freedom Tower have been lifted to the summit of the One World Trade Center. Construction of the gargantuan 758-ton, 408-foot spire - a joint Canadian-U.S. venture - began in December 2012, when 18 separate pieces were shipped to Manhattan from Canada and New Jersey. This final addition, including a steel beacon, means that the height of the building will soon rise from 1,368 feet to a more patriotic 1,776 feet once the segments are permanently installed within the next few weeks. However, it's not yet certain that the building will officially be the tallest in the U.S.
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The tower, designed by SOM's David Childs, will not officially dethrone the 1,450 ft Willis (Sears) Tower as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere until it receives the blessing of the Council on Tall Buildings. This non-profit council compiles the definitive list of the world's tallest structures. A 'height committee' will measure what they consider the architectural top of the building; a term which includes permanent parts of the structure, such as spires, but omits more temporary structures like antennae.
Once the council has reviewed the final drawings, they will make a decision on the building's fate. If they are not convinced by the spire, the building it will fall to third place behind the Willis and Trump Towers, both in Chicago. However, despite mixed opinions, it looks very likely that the council will give it the thumbs up.
What do you think, should the 408-foot spire be counted as part of the building's overall height?
Once it's all finished, the tower is scheduled to open its doors and welcome its anchor tenant in 2014.