Antenna Spat May Cost WTC Site 'Highest Tower' Title

Ornamental casing might be scrapped
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2012 2:07 PM CDT
An artist's rendering of the proposed design for One World Trade Center in New York.   (AP Photo/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/dbox studio)

(Newser) – The owners of the One World Trade Center tower are feuding with the tower's architects over the 408-foot antenna that will protrude from its roof, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Port Authority and developer Douglas Durst want to dispense with an ornamental white shell that was originally supposed to encase the antenna, a cost-cutting move Durst says will save $20 million, but the architects call it an "integral part of the building's design."

Durst says it would be expensive to maintain the casing, and almost impossible for maintenance crews to work on it safely. The casing is symbolically important because architectural spires are counted toward a building's official height, but bare antennas are not. With the casing, the antenna would count, making the building North America's tallest at a symbolic 1,776 feet. Without it, the building gets third place. It's scheduled to be finished late next year.

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