Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas
I've always supported spires over antennae and flagpoles, or anything else that wasn't included as part of the building's design. That is, strictly for architectural purposes. Antennas, flagpoles and clocks come and go, but spires and other strictly architectural features are permanent. It would be like ripping off the hood ornament of a Mercedes to replace it without an antenna. It would actually decrease the value of it. Imagine if they did that to the Chrysler Building for an antenna. The Empire State Building for instance has not always had its antenna, and it might in the future be removed, too.
Although, I live 5 miles from downtown Austin, and the one building we have that has a spire really only makes a major impact with its roof. I can see the spire day and night, but the spire's impact on the skyline is pretty much unimportant, especially compared to other buildings with higher roofs.
Kevin I see you offering 4 different criteria here and they're not all consistent with each other:
1. Only count what's included in the original architectural blueprints.
2. Only count "permanent features"
3. Only count things which, if removed, would decrease a buildings "value"
4. Only count things that "make an impact"
I guess I'd ask you to pick which one(s) you think are the "real" criteria and say more about why. None of these, by themselves, exclude things like antennas and flagpoles (they could have been included in the original blueprints, they could have been intended to be permanent, they could have some patriotic or other economic value that would lessen the building if removed, and they could actually make an impact on the skyline like the Willis Tower's antennas do).
So none of the things I see you proposing would discount counting the full height of all elements of a building and I guess (and I here don't meant to single you out especially) don't see a reason offered yet why we shouldn't count EVERYTHING.
Like I said in my earlier post, we could quibble about whether antennas or spires, or flagpoles "make an impact" on a skyline or a building's profile. Those are aesthetic debates we could have about a building. BUT if I want to know how tall something is, that doesn't seem like something we should quibble about. This building is xxx feet or meters from the sidewalk to the beginning of the sky. That includes everything (and why not?).
If we wanted to compare buildings to one another then we could get technical and say things like "The Petronas Towers, while technically taller than the Willis, is less prominent and less imposing. The Willis looks like the sturdier, more solid building, it reaches its full height more gracefully, more powerfully, etc."
It really seems like what most of us care about isn't necessarily how tall something is (it is exactly as tall as the tip of all manmade structures) but instead about how
something achieves its height. It's best not to confuse those two questions though.