Willis Tower now second tallest building in western hemisphere - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Willis Tower now second tallest building in western hemisphere

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A milestone in the rebuilding of the ground zero site took place Friday, where the World Trade Center twin towers used to stand in New York City.

Workers have placed the spire on top of the new One World Trade Center tower, making the building the tallest structure in the western hemisphere.

Engineers said that structure's decorative spire brings its total height to a symbolic 1,776 feet. It recalls the year of America's declaration of independence, adding to the building's symbolic defiance of terrorists who attacked New York in 2001. 

That also means our own Sears Tower - or Willis Tower, as it is now called - has lost some seriously big bragging rights. The skyscraper used to be the tallest in the western hemisphere.

But some people don't seem to mind. In fact, the think it's "great!"

A group of visiting school kids from Indiana, said they were still wowed by the Willis Tower and the rest of Chicago's skyline.

"Congratulations to the people in New York," Chicagoan Richard Parry said. "I love what's going on over there with the World Trade Center. But this is the tallest building in the world to me."

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings regularly reviews claims to several different official titles: including tallest overall, highest roof and highest occupied floor. Without its ornamental spire, the new building in Manhattan would not surpass the Willis Tower as tallest in the U.S.

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