By Spire change I assume you mean this:
Troubles with 1 World Trade Center's spire: Will Willis Tower remain America's tallest building?
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For years now, architecture buffs have assumed that Willis Tower's days as America's tallest building were numbered. The 1 World Trade Center tower in New York was going to top it, surmounted by a spire that would rise to a symbolic height of 1,776 feet, evoking the year of the Declaration of Independence.
But now, as the Associated Press is reporting, new questions have arisen about 1 WTCs height, and they could be resolved in a way that lets the 1,4501-foot Willis Tower retain its title as the nation's tallest.
It turns out that 1 WTC's spire is actually a broadcast antenna that was supposed to be sheathed in a decorative cladding. This aesthetic feature would have made the antenna an integral part of the building's design--and thus, technically, a spire. Spires count in height measurements. Antennas don't.
But now, the AP says, the cladding has been shelved over maintenance issues. That puts the focus on the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which sets height measurement standards. The Council has issued a statement--I've put it on the jump--which says, in effect, "we'll have to wait and see."
One World Trade Center Statement from Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has received many media queries about the ultimate height of One World Trade Center, which is currently planned as the tallest building in North America.
We are aware that changes have been announced to the design of the structure on top of One World Trade Center, which may affect the final height measurement for the building. We understand that sculptural cladding has been removed, which will change the structure.
One World Trade Center, which is still under construction, is currently listed in the CTBUH’s Skyscraper Center at an anticipated height to “architectural top” of 1,776 feet. This includes the structure described in the materials previously provided by the architect as a spire. A spire is typically a permanent structure and part of the architecture and artistic expression of the building.
The CTBUH includes spires in its height measurement to “architectural top,” the primary category in ranking the tallest buildings in the world. But antennas, masts, water towers and other functional-technical structures – which often are not designed by the architect of the building and change according to prevalent technologies – are not included in the height measurement to the architectural top. However, they are included in measurements to the architectural “tip,” a secondary category tracked by the CTBUH. Definitions can be found on the CTBUH website at www.CTBUH.org
At this point, since the building is far from completion, there is no final determination on the height of One World Trade Center. A final determination will be made by the CTBUH Technical Height Committee based on analysis of the drawings and other information submitted by the building owner, development and consultant team. Building designs often change during construction and final ratification of the height and formal recognition on the list of 100 Tallest Completed Building in the World occur after the building is officially completed and application details submitted.
Over 40 years the CTBUH has developed detailed criteria for measuring the height of buildings, which are widely accepted in the industry. Any disputes are resolved by the CTBUH Height Committee - a panel of industry experts specifically set up for this purpose.
Personally I always found the WTC top is both an antenna and a spire and therefore it counts to be kind of stretching it but then again I was never a big fan of the whole spire thing anyways, I always view rooftop height at the deciding factor. I just hope this is resolved impartially by the CTBUH and not let the emotion of 9/11 get in the way but without at least the "decorative cladding" of the antenna I don't see how the antenna alone could count in the height.