The 408-foot spire is hoisted onto a temporary platform on the top of One World Trade Center on May 2, 2013 in New York City. When bolted into place at a later date, the spire will make One World Trade Center the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.The raising of the spire, which comes on the second anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, will make One World Trade Center 1,776 feet tall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - Tall buildings aren't what they used to be.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat says 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.
The trend means that many towers now appearing on lists of super-tall buildings actually have fewer floors than the old behemoths they are knocking out of the top ranks.
New York's unfinished One World Trade Center is 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."
The Chicago-based council says 44 of the world's 72 tallest buildings got over the symbolic 300 meter mark by adding a decorative spire.
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