N.Y. skyscraper now unofficially has highest roof in North America | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

N.Y. skyscraper now unofficially has highest roof in North America

1485982_web1_ptr-CentralParkTower-080219
Google
Central Park Tower, currently under construction in New York City, will have the unofficial title of the tallest roof in North America at 1,550 feet.

CHICAGO — Chicago’s Willis Tower, which was dethroned five years ago by One World Trade Center as the tallest building in North America, just lost its unofficial title as the highest roof in North America to another New York skyscraper, Central Park Tower, which is still under construction.

Willis Tower tops out at 1,451 feet at its parapet — for all practical purposes, the roof. Central Park Tower reportedly surpassed that mark this week on its way to 1,550 feet.

“It’s not really a statistic that we track,” said Daniel Safarik, a spokesman for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a Chicago-based not-for-profit organization that maintains rankings on the world’s tallest buildings. “But the ultimate architectural height of the Central Park Tower roof is about 100 feet higher.”

Extell, the New York-based developer behind Central Park Tower, was not immediately available Wednesday to verify that the rising luxury condo building was now taller than Willis. But when completed, it will undeniably surpass Willis Tower’s last official vertical claim to fame — the highest occupied floor in North America, according to the council.

“We don’t formalize that until Central Park Tower is actually completed, but it’s on track to do so,” Safarik said.

The council uses three measurements to rank tall buildings: height to architectural top, occupied floor and tip. The standard and most widely used ranking is architectural height — from the base to the top, including spires, but not antennas.

When Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, opened in 1973, it was the world’s tallest building at 1,451 feet, a title it held until 1996. It hung on to the title of tallest building in North America until 2014, when a controversial decision by the council handed the crown to the newly completed One World Trade Center, despite the fact that the building’s architectural height of 1,776 feet was bolstered by a roughly 400-foot spire.

There was even some heated debate as to whether One World Trade Center’s spire was actually an antenna, Safarik said.

“That’s probably one of the most controversial decisions we’ve made,” Safarik said.

Designed by Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Central Park Tower is a mixed use residential and retail tower with a planned height of 1,550 feet. Once completed, it will be the second-tallest building in North America and the tallest residential building in the world, according to the council.

It will also displace Willis’ enduring title as the highest occupied floor in North America, which tops out at a lofty 1,354 feet. The highest occupied floor at Central Park Tower will be 1,450 feet.

Willis Tower remains the 17th tallest building in the world, according to the latest rankings.

While Chicagoans may bemoan Willis losing its highest roof title this week, there is perhaps some small comfort in knowing it’s not really a ranking endorsed by the council. Part of the problem is defining where a roof actually ends, Safarik said.

“It especially gets problematic when you have a building that has a tapered top, like Two Prudential Plaza (in Chicago),” Safarik said. “We would have to come up with a fourth category that would be almost impossible to discern. It’s just another can of worms that we’re not ready to open right now.”

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.