Lightning Strikes 1 World Trade Center! Making Room for Rods, Tower Will Be Taller Than 1,776 Feet

45473940 Lightning Strikes 1 World Trade Center! Making Room for Rods, Tower Will Be Taller Than 1,776 Feet

Stripping away some superfluous symbolism. (Skyscraper Page)

Whether poetic, patriotic or pathetic, Daniel Liebeskind’s plan to render the height of 1 World Trade Center at 1,776 feet—a nod to our nation’s declaration of independence—was one of the most remarked upon pieces of his plan for the project. In fact, after Skidmore Owings & Merrill took over the design from Mr. Liebeskind, who is now merely the master planner, about the only element of his design that remained at 1 World Trade was that the top of the tower would reach 1,362, the same as the original towers, and it would have a spire climbing further to that symbolic height of 1,776 feet.

It turns out the tower will be even taller, and we have Mother Nature to thank for that.

The World Trade Center is Now Totally Above Ground >>

A diagram for the 400-foot aerial appendage appeared in Architectural Record last week, and it showed an eight-foot protrusion atop the antenna. According to a source working at the site, it is a lightning rod. “There is a sense a lighting strike could be huge, so we have to protect against that,” this person said. Indeed, lightning has been an issue for decades at the Empire State Building.

one word trade center 11 Lightning Strikes 1 World Trade Center! Making Room for Rods, Tower Will Be Taller Than 1,776 Feet

Eight extra feet. (Architectural Record)

An eagle-eyed contributor at the Skyscraper Page noted that this could actually push the tower to 1,787 feet, if measured from the north side of the building. For the history buffs, that would be an equally or even more significant historical date: the creation of the U.S. Constitution. But our source said that would likely not be the case for two reasons.

First, the height of the tower is being measured from the midway point of the ground floor, not one side or the other. This was the point chosen by the designers because “we had to pick something,” the source said, not only to get the building built but for the purposes of having it measured by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which is the official arbiter of building heights worldwide. That means the new height would only be 1,784 feet. Second, and more importantly, the lightning rod has not even been designed yet. It could be two feet tall or eleven feet, one rod or a dozen.

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Still, according to our source, even from a bird’s eye view, the lightning rod (or rods) would be all but imperceptible, lost in the scale of the spire and likely obscured by the flashing of an FAA-mandated warning light. “The sense is those things are so fine, you don’t even perceive them,” the source said.

As for that FAA beacon, it will be perched at the very top of the antenna proper—at a height of 1,776 feet. Call it the Beacon of Independence.

mchaban [at] | @MC_NYC


  1. Pugphan says:

    How I wish they had rebuilt the towers- what a shame they didn’t! smokersodysseycom

    1. Jimtims says:

      The towers are quite visible and being built.  Where have you been?

      1. Mojorisin9 says:

        i think he means the original… the twin towers.

    2. Michael Johnson says:

      I totally agree, all they had to do was make the new building look like the old one.  Now we have a fortress and two huge pools where we had  public open spaces

    3. jennifer says:

      That’s what I was thinking too.

  2. huj says:

    typical american- can get it for free (or come to conclusion about plans)- than cheat!!

    1. WTF are you even talking about??? Typical foreigners….STUPID as Hell.

  3. Hoffm_t says:

    Will the antenna be used to Transmit all the local TV stations?  The downing of the Twin Towers  combined with the Digital conversion has killed my Reception.

    1. Dazedandconfused203 says:

       Thousands of people died and you’re bitching about your TV reception?? Go sign up for cable you idiot

      1. Hoffm_t says:

        Why would I cave to the Cable monopoly.. idiot.
        thousands die every day over circumstances beyond their control. Americans love to dwell on this. Heck If Normany put up a memorial everywhere people died in that country, ther ewouldn’t be any land left to live.

      2. Offthe Wagon says:

        Did you happen to use the tin foil from your antenna on your hat?

      3. Littledeejewelry says:

        These were not “normal” every day deaths.  They were attacked.  Obviously you are someone that does not deserve to live here.  I don’t give a rat’s ass about Normandy.  That’s not MY home.

      4. Jeffrey says:

        Silverstein is going to get more money or his fair share of the 99 year
        lease anyway….  So will it create jobs?  or will people be scared to
        work in the building and pass the opportunity  for a position in One
        Freedom Tower (formerly WTC area).

        I agree with you and it is a shame that we have brain-dead folks in society.  That is the balance of genius, rocket-scientist, and idiots.  Too many folks died there and they really should have built a memorial there… 

      5. g97 says:

        But they did build the memorial in the original foot prints

      6. g97 says:

        And if you never rebuild anywhere then that shows more fear

    2. Mmm says:

      SAme here too.  NY area needs another broadcast antenna after the WTC was destroyed.  Been a boom for cable operators.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Normally, aren’t buildings measured from the streetside base of the front entrance? The midway point of the bottom floor could have several levels and be more subject to settlement, right?

  5. Mike says:

    i have always considered counting the antenna cheating in these height wars.

  6. Humphry says:

    And some of the
    picket wire against a pigeons would add another inch.

  7. d says:

    what’s with architects and putting penises on top of buildings . empire state, chrysler, and now wtc. theres this weird obsession with “who has the longest erection” when it comes to these needle top buildings.

  8. Sogoeme says:

    It is a small tragedy the twin towers were never rebuilt…a dozen or more floors higher than the original 110.   However, these things are so minor compared to the human tragedy of the event.  The sad thing is the  dedicated integrated high-tech communications system that would have saved many firefighters, policemen and women and other first responders still does not exist!!!!!
    Our Congress is too busy trying to destroy the EPA, Planned Parenthood and raising taxes on the working classes by elliminating in many states the Earned Income Tax Credit.  So much for Grover’s pledge.   I’m still waiting for a jobs bill but the economy is the last thing they care to fix.

  9. says:

    Have they tested all the welded connections by a licensed reliable firm .Is the building sprinklered ? The twins towers where not sprinklered tfor may years because the Port cliamed that NYC codes did not apply to them .

  10. Dicksjeffrey says:

    That means with all the hype and publicity; we can actually have better cellular fone service as well as bold pigeons flying, walking into cars and traffic like most of the pedestrians that bump into others while texting.  What is wrong with this picture? 

    Silverstein is going to get more money or his fair share of the 99 year lease anyway….  So will it create jobs?  or will people be scared to work in the building and pass the opportunity  for a position in One Freedom Tower (formerly WTC area). 

    Time will tell….

    1. Matt Chaban says:

      For what it’s worth, Silverstein gave up control of 1 WTC three years ago.

  11. Sievephile says:

    Great!  A One World (Order) Trade Center with its China Center, from whence the Chinese can buy up Americana, to replace two towers of America economic prominence.  I’m glad it’s not called the Freedom Tower; the new name is more apt.  Bloomberg needs to be recalled for wanting to support the mosque at Ground Zero, the campaign fiasco, and the wanting to keep clerics and names of the deceased out of 9/11 events…amongst other things.