(NBC News) The experts have weighed in and today there's a new tallest building in the United States.
For New Yorkers, it's more than a matter of bragging rights, it's a matter of pride.
It towers over lower Manhattan, a gleaming monolith of steel and glass.
An office building, yes, but also a symbol of American determination, resolve, and pride.
And now, 12 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, one world trade center will officially be the tallest skyscraper in America once it is complete.
"Our height committee reached the consensus that in fact the building is 1776 feet in height," said Timothy Johnson, chairman of The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
After studying pictures and plans, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a group of architects from around the world, concluded the top of One World Trade Center is a fixed spire, not a removable antenna, and should be counted in the final height of 1,776 feet.
It's a number which invokes the year of American independence.
"For us we are very clear that it was a spire and not an antenna," Johnson said.
The ruling relegates a building in the 'Second City' to second place.
It's the Willis Tower in Chicago, long known the Sears Tower.
Though it still has the highest occupied floor, it is now the country's second tallest building.
"What happened with 9/11 is a real important symbol so i think it should be the tallest one," said one Chicago resident.
One world trade center is about 400 feet taller than the original twin towers, fulfilling the promise of many New Yorkers to come back bigger and stronger than before.
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