World’s tallest skyscapers? Only if ‘useless’ needles count

Associated Press

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat says that a lot of new skyscrapers fudge the height factor by adding huge, ‘useless’ needles on top. Looking at you, WTC.

Tall tales? The still-unfinished 1 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan has a 408-foot needle on its roof, which the Council on Tall Buildings an Urban Habitat considers 'vanity height.' Mark Bonifacio/New York Daily News

Tall tales? The still-unfinished 1 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan has a 408-foot needle on its roof, which the Council on Tall Buildings an Urban Habitat considers “vanity height.” Mark Bonifacio/New York Daily News

Tall buildings just aren’t what they used to be.

The developers of many new super-skyscrapers have been sticking huge, “useless” needles on top of them so they can be marketed as being among the world’s tallest, a report says. The unfinished 1 World Trade Center is listed as being among the top offenders, thanks to the 408-foot needle installed on its roof, but it’s hardly the worst in terms of “vanity height,” according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The entire top 40% of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab is purely decorative.

The Chicago-based council, which is seen as a leading authority on skyscrapers, says 44 of the world’s 72 tallest buildings got over the symbolic 300-meter mark — about 75 to 80 floors — by adding a decorative spire

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