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May 10, 2013

Spire Installed Atop One World Trade Center

by VOA News

Installation of a silver spire atop New York's new One World Trade Center skyscraper has been completed, a symbolic rebirth of America's biggest city after terrorists destroyed twin towers at the same site in 2001.

With the last work on the spire Friday, the new building reaches a height of 1,776 feet or 541 meters, a figure meant to recall the year the United States declared its independence from England in 1776.

The 124-meter spire weighs 758 tons and was installed over several months.  It houses an antenna for a broadcast facility planned for the building.

The new trade center, set to open for business next year, is one of several mammoth office buildings being constructed at the site where al-Qaida terrorists flew jetliners into the twin World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001, collapsing the structures and killing nearly 3,000 people.

The new One World Trade Center could be the tallest building in the United States and the third tallest in the world.

The distinction depends on whether one considers the spire part of the building's architectural design and counted as part of its height, or whether the spire's primary purpose is to house the antenna, with the actual official height substantially lower at the rooftop level.

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