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Oh, say can you see: 1 WTC ruled tallest in US

One World Trader Center (L) is now deemed the tallest building in the U.S., overtaking the Willis Tower in Chicago.
Ben Hider (L) and STR | AFP (R) | Getty Images
One World Trader Center (L) is now deemed the tallest building in the U.S., overtaking the Willis Tower in Chicago.

An expert committee of architects declared Tuesday that New York's new World Trade Center tower is now the tallest building in the U.S., surpassing Chicago's Willis Tower.

The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced its decision in Chicago.

The committee is widely recognized as the final arbiter of official building heights around the world. It has been studying whether a design change means the needle atop 1 World Trade Center is part of the actual building or merely the equivalent of a broadcast antenna.

The tower built on the site of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, stands at a symbolically important 1,776 feet tall, including the 408-foot needle. It would have been considered 1,368 feet tall without the needle.

Willis Tower stands 1,451 feet tall.

—By Associated Press.

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.