Chicago has lost bragging rights as home of the world’s tallest building. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the arbiter of such things, has ruled that the new owner of the title is One World Trade Center in Manhattan.
The council determined that Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) no longer reigns supreme, even though it has six more floors and its roof is 100 feet higher.
The decision stirred up some controversy in the big building world. Both skyscrapers have tall masts on top, but the council decided the ones on the 1,451-foot Willis Tower are antennas, which the council doesn’t count. Developers were able to convince the council that the 408-foot mast on One World Trade Center is a “spire,” which is permanent and part of the architects’ intent – giving it the symbolic height of 1,776 feet.
Awarding the title to One World Trade Center, going up on the site of the Twin Towers, really is the right thing to do. As the developer said, “This iconic building represents the resilience of America.”
But Chicagoans shouldn’t despair. They can reclaim the title anytime they want. They just have to build something more than 1,776 feet tall.
Two thoughts came to mind when the administration announced that fewer than 27,000 people had signed up for Obamacare on the problem-plagued federal website in the first month. First, it was concrete evidence, if any was needed, of how badly the administration managed to botch the rollout of health care reform.
But then think about the 27,000 people who did manage to navigate the balky website. Their dogged pursuit of coverage despite all the roadblocks deserves some kind of reward for persistence.
The new Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired, two-story filling station in the atrium of the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum is a welcome addition to Buffalo’s cultural tourism portfolio.
Wright came up with the design in 1928, but the project was never built. James T. Sandoro, the museum’s founder and executive director, spent the last several years bringing the project to life.
The filling station is now the third local re-creation of Wright’s work from blueprints left behind after his death in 1959, joining the Blue Sky Mausoleum in Forest Lawn and the Fontana Boathouse on the Black Rock Channel.
Historical purists question completing Wright’s work from his designs, given that he was known to revise his work during construction. Patrick Mahoney of Lauer-Manguso & Associates Architects, the project’s architect, said, “It represents Wright’s ideas, but it definitely can’t represent the building that would have happened. It can only be the building that was a snapshot in his mind at that time.”
It certainly offers a little more insight into the genius of one of America’s greatest architects. That’s good enough for us.