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Council on Tall Buildings weighs 1 WTC's height claim

Cranes work adjacent to the spire on top

Cranes work adjacent to the spire on top of One World Trade Center. The last piece of spire will be hoisted to the roof on Thursday. (May 1, 2013) Credit: AP

Developers of 1 World Trade Center, formerly called the Freedom Tower, say that at 1,776 feet it will be the tallest office tower in the Western Hemisphere.

That claim is being considered by the authority of such matters -- the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The group's Height Committee will convene in early November and hopes to make an announcement by Nov. 9, spokesman Daniel Safarik said.

The designation involves more than just bragging rights.

The developer of the tower, a joint project of the Port Authority and the Durst Organization, has hired a private firm, Legends Hospitality, to operate an observation deck, special events space, gift shop and restaurants atop the building, and hopes to attract 3.8 million visitors annually.

Legends, a joint marketing effort of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, has agreed to pay the developers as much as $875 million over the 15-year term of the lease.

At the time of their completion in 1973, the original Twin Towers -- with 110 floors climbing 1,362 feet above Lower Manhattan -- were the tallest in the world. The north tower included Windows on the World, a restaurant complex on the 106th and 107th floors.

In 2000, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur held the council's title as world's tallest building at 1,483 feet. This year, the 2,717-foot-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds the title, according to the council's website.

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