The final piece of One World Trade Center’s antenna is being hoisted into place today, a major milestone in the tower’s construction. Including the antenna, One World Trade Center will rise a total of 1,787 feet—though whether the CTBUH counts the ‘mast’ towards the building’s official height remains to be seen.
The value-engineered ‘spire’ clearly resembles the antennae atop 4 Times Square and the Empire State Building, neither of which count towards either building’s ‘official’ height. Stripping the radome has left the building without a spire, and the antenna—foreign to the tower’s intended design—looks raw, ungainly, and completely out-of-place, all in the name of reducing maintenance costs.
The last section is expected to ascend at noon, capping off seven years of construction—though interior work will continue through 2014. Neither Ground Zero’s hallowed status nor One World Trade’s international prominence could save the tower from value-engineering, which is perhaps the truelesson in the site’s re-construction; do not spend four billion dollars on a public-private boondoggle that—even after four billion dollars—gets cheapened into a structure vastly different than what was promised to New Yorkers.
Besides the antenna, there has been significant progress on the tower’s glass, which has reached the roof on the building’s south side. The facade should be wrapping up shortly as well, leaving the tower’s exterior complete by the summer.