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Massive Spire Lifted To Top Of New World Trade Center Building

Construction workers applauded Thursday as a crane raised the flag-draped spire of One World Trade Center to the top of the skyscraper.

When they install the spire at a later date, it will cap the structure at a symbolic 1,776 feet. The Port Authority says the spire, which acts as a fixture for various antennas, will bump the 104-story building to be the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, reports New Jersey's The Star-Ledger.

However, as the newspaper reports:

"If the tip of the spire is not counted ... as the tower's architectural top, it will be the hemisphere's third tallest building ... behind Willis Tower [formerly the Sears Tower] and the 1,389-foot Trump Tower, [both] in Chicago."

The Willis and Trump towers are ranked the ninth and 12th tallest buildings in the world, respectively, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The new tower — the primary structure in the group of buildings commemorating the World Trade Center buildings destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — sits at the northwest corner of the site, where the 72-story Four World Trade Center and other buildings are also under construction, The Associated Press says.

Construction on the new WTC skyscraper began Aug. 30, 2006.

The spire-raising had been scheduled to occur on Monday, but was delayed by poor weather.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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