1 World Trade Center Set To Claim Spot Atop NYC’s Skyline Today

With the addition of some steel columns later today (weather permitting), 1 World Trade Center will reach a height of symbolic importance.

At 1,271 feet (and growing) it will be 21 feet taller than the observation deck on the Empire State Building.

So, for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that destroyed the North and South towers of the World Trade Center — killing more than 2,700 people — a skyscraper at the tip of Manhattan will arguably be taller than the famous midtown landmark.

We only say arguably because if you count the antenna atop the Empire State Building, that skyscraper is 1,454 feet tall, as the New York Post shows.

There’s some disagreement among experts about whether antennas should or should not be counted, however. As USA Today writes, “purists say anything that can be removed, such as an antenna, should not be counted.”

Once 1 World Trade Center reaches its full height, however, there won’t be anything left to debate. Within a few months, The New York Times says, it will reach “1,368 feet at its rooftop parapet, identical in height to the first 1 World Trade Center. … The ultimate topping out will be the completion next year of an antenna that will bring the structure’s overall height to 1,776 feet.”

There’s much more about the World Trade Center at its website. Our friends at WNYC have a Web package on the “World Trade Center Construction, In Pictures.”

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, at 2,716.5 feet, is the world’s tallest building.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.