The final two sections of One World Trade Center‘s 408-foot, 758-ton spire where bolted into place yesterday morning, maxing the building’s height out at 1,776 feet and making it the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, according to the Port Authority.
The spire will double as a state-of-the-art broadcast facility that will provide transmission services for the region’s broadcast outlets, and an illuminated beacon at the top will produce 288,000 lumens of light and will be visible from up to 50 miles away.
While the spire makes the building the tallest structure in the U.S., in the Western Hemisphere, and the third tallest in the world, the official ruling on the height is subject to a determination by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which will decide whether the peak is more antennae than spire.
The building height without the spire is 1,368 feet, meaning that it would not surpass Chicago’s Willis Tower, which stands at 1,451 feet without its antennae.
The first piece of the spire, installed in January, weighed more than 67 tons, and the additional two pieces add another six tons. Workers hoisted the final two pieces onto a temporary platform atop the building earlier this month.
The spire is a joint venture between Canadian engineering firm ADF Group Inc. and New York-based steel contractor DCM Erectors Inc. It traveled 1,500 nautical miles down the Atlantic seaboard from Valleyfield, Quebec to Pier 25 in Lower Manhattan in late 2012 before it was transported to the World Trade Center site, where workers hoisted the first piece to the top in December of last year.
The world’s tallest building, topping 2,700 feet, is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.