The One World Trade Center building is very close to completion, but the project is not without controversy. The original design of the building featured a 40-story fiberglass spire known as a radome that was meant to cover the broadcast antenna. The radome was also the design element that would give the building its symbolic 1,776-foot height and be the building's most visible element. The owners of the building announced a change in the design that eliminated the radome and left the antenna exposed, citing the $20 million dollar cost as a factor. The designers and the Durst Organization disagreed on whether or not the radome would be "impossible to maintain" and others questioned whether or not the building's height counted without the addition. If the antenna itself is not considered a part of the building, One World Trade would be 408 feet shorter, knocking it down from "tallest building in the Western Hemisphere" to "third tallest building in the United States" in the eyes of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
Should the designers (and the City of New York) fight for the radome? And does the diminished height of One World Trade even matter? We say yes on both accounts.