Yesterday came word that 1 World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, has officially grown taller than the Empire State Building. That's counting the external framework, which has reached the 100th Floor— the floors themselves look to be at least four stories behind. But as 1 WTC approaches its final height of 104 stories, it is time to ask a difficult but important question: Is this skyscraper a little too short?
As you can see from the picture above, taken from just east of the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO, 1 WTC is still being visually eclipsed by its much shorter neighbor, 8 Spruce Street. That undulating tower, designed by Frank Gehry, is only 876 feet tall, which is 492 feet shorter than 1WTC's final roof height of 1368ft. It appears taller because it's a few blocks east of the World Trade Center site and that much closer to Brooklyn. Unfortunately, this is precisely the skyline view that appears on most NYC postcards, and the view that many visitors see first as they come in from the airports in Queens.
Eventually 1 WTC will be crowned with a large spire, which will top out at the patriotic height of 1776ft. This spire will be, by far, the tallest visible structure in the area. However, it seems very possible that there will be areas (especially low lying neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens), where Gehry's tower will still appear to have the higher top floor. Does this bother anyone besides us?
Floors 94 through 99 simply don’t exist in the tower, allowing for the seamless jump from 93 to 100. (The tower at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan will ultimately reach 104 stories.)...
At One WTC, part of this funny math has to do with the height of the upper floors of the tower. While a typical office floor in the building has a height of about 13 feet, 3 inches, the final office floors, ending at 90, have higher ceilings. In addition, 91 through 93 are floors for mechanical equipment, with significantly higher ceilings than normal.