TODAY

TODAY   |  November 12, 2013

High stakes: Does New York now have tallest building?

The historic battle of bragging rights for the tallest building in America between Chicago and New York will be decided today as a council decides if the spire on the One World Trade Center counts as part of the building.

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>>> we are back. where will you find the tallest building in america? they're announcing the final ruling on that today in one corner new york 's world trade center here in new york . it's a symbolic 1776 square feet . now in the other corner we have chicago 's willis tower which rises to 1450 feet. the committee must decide if spire counts as part of the building. there's pride and bragging rights on the line. katie is on the new york side and kevin is on chicago side.

>> what's at stake here is new york 's reputation as being the biggest and the best. this tower behind me stands at 1776 feet tall. it is the tallest building in america and it will stay that way just as long as the chicago folks rule as we all know they should.

>> 12 years in the making, 104 stories of steel, glass, and hope. one world trade isn't just a building. it is a monument to new york city 's resolve after 9/11. our ability to bounce back no matter the horror. the spire topping out at 1776 feet might as well be an exclamation point. bolted down live on today just last spring with matt on floor 104.

>> just in time for sunrise.

>> reporter: so what will this chicago -based committee of architects decide on exactly? well, whether or not the spire is a removable broadcast antenna and not part of the building.

>> if the topmost structure is classed as a spire, new york wins, if it's classed as an antenna, new york wins.

>> we should be the largest. we're the number one city.

>> reporter: once again leaving chicago not just second in name but by noon, skyscraper surveillan superiority.

>> the second city has the second tallest tower . it's clear.

>> reporter: that's right. it's clear that you cannot squash a new york city person's pride or building height. kevin , what's next? are you going to start saying chicago 's pizza is better?

>> well, katie , on this wintry morning in chicago , it's time for a little history lesson for you from professor tibs because the world's very first ska skyscraper was built here in the windy city and everyone knows that our beloved willis , or some may still call it sears tower is the tallest.

>> reporter: they may call chicago the second city but when it comes to scraping the sky, we're number one, right?

>> that was always a bragging right.

>> it's a great city, new york , second to us of course.

>> reporter: everyone knows when the original sears tower opened in 1973 it was the tallest building on the planet. these days, it's called the willis tower and with it's 110 stories, it's six stories taller than the new one world trade center . the big willy is our icon.

>> the willis tower is one of the most important tall buildings in the whole of the u.s.

>> reporter: if you want to see how tall it is for yourself, head up to the 103rd floor and peek out over the edge on the ledge. although when it comes to a building known as the freedom tower when it was being built, some believed it would be appropriate to defer to new york .

>> what happened on 9/11 is a real important symbol. so i think it should be the tallest one.

>> reporter: okay. of course, whatever building is deemed the tallest, we will all stand together here. except, of course, when it comes to the yankees and mets, giants and jets, rangers, knicks, and don't even mention our pizza out there in new york , savannah.

>> all right, katie and kevin , may the best -- nevermind. we're all winners. find the next hot dog . which city has the best hot dog ?