7. There were debates over whether the spire should count for the building’s height

1 World Trade Center spire

When it was decided that One World Trade Center’s needle would no longer be enclosed by a radome, or an enclosure that protects an antenna, its status as the tallest building in the U.S. was in jeopardy. Many debated over whether the needle was considered an antenna or a spire. Without the ornamental fiberglass and steel cladding, it looked more like an antenna, which would not have counted for total height.

Yet the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat ruled in 2013 that it is a spire, which is considered structural. An antenna is just a feature with a technical purpose stuck on top of the building after it’s finished, but spires are considered a continuation of the form of the building. The building still contains some uninhabitable floors that also add to the height of the building.