Spires vs. No Spires - Bring it on!

Let’s have a civilized discussion about spires.

I’m not against them being on buildings, but I am against them being counted in the height of the building. In my opinion, they can be counted in the height of the structure, but they’re usually not an integral part of the building itself.

Who agrees? Who disagrees? Other opinions? Go!

Agreed… I think they can be aesthetically pleasing, but I’ve always disagreed with them being counted as the official building height. By that logic, I get taller if I wear a hat.


Only for counting supertalls and buildings that have antennas to make it a supertall: :arrow_down_small:

In my opinion, if spires and antennas weren’t counted at all in NYC, then by roof height the future Grand Hyatt Tower would be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, followed by buildings Central Park Tower, 111 West 57th Street, 432 Park Avenue, 270 Park Avenue, One WTC, proposed 350 Park Avenue, One Vanderbilt, future 2 WTC, 30 Hudson Yards, proposed Penn 15, ESB, proposed 41-47 West 57th Street, 3 WTC, 9 Dekalb Avenue, 53 West 53rd Street, the Spiral (66 Hudson boulevard), 50 Hudson Yards, 35 Hudson Yards, One 57, One Manhattan West, Bank of America Tower, Chrysler Building, and technically the Conde Mast Building (4 Times Square).

If the spires/antennas were counted, then the buildings (including ones in roof height) will follow as; One Manhattan West, One57, 35 Hudson Yards, 50 Hudson Yards, the Spiral, Chrysler Building, 53 West 53rd Street, 9 Dekalb, 3 WTC, proposed 41-47 West 57th Street, 4 Times Square, Bank of America Tower, proposed Penn 15, 30 Hudson Yards, future 2 WTC, 270 Park Avenue, 432 Park Avenue, One Vanderbilt, 111 West 57th Street, proposed 350 Park Avenue, ESB, Central Park Tower, Grand Hyatt Tower, and One WTC.


What about crowns? Should they count towards a building’s height? Grand Hyatt, 111 West 57, and Salesforce Tower in San Francisco all have crowns that reach well above the roof. If we’re being consistent, then crowns shouldn’t count either, since like spires they’re not integral to the building. Personally, I think both spires and crowns should count. I agree that certain spires like BoA, NYT, etc are “cheats” but I’m trying to be logically consistent and I can’t think of a reason why crowns should count but spires shouldn’t.

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It’s a layer towards a long-running conversation that started when the first skyscraper was built, which I may start a topic on because the debate of NYC vs. Chicago is such a deep-seeded rivalry I don’t know why fights haven’t broken out at games between the Giants and Bears or Cubs and Yankees. I will say though that looking at everything, all the involved factors, etc. that spires, if they are to be counted, should contribute towards the overall architecture of a building, and should not be conceived as some sort of separate entity. They should have some sort of meaningful height, or contribute to their building achieving it. They should also be located above the crown of a given building, not as part of the crown. The roof height of a given project should not immediately include the crown, but instead include any readily traversable space exposed to the elements above the final enclosed floor. The crown of the Empire State Building for instance, would count, but the crown of the tower proposed at the address of 175 Park Avenue would not count because that crown is not readily traversable. What about buildings that don’t include a crown? That’s a lot simpler. Just measure the roof height and measure the height of the spire, and add that up to get your solution. As long as the spire contributes to the overall architecture of a given building, you know, is planned from the get-go, and doesn’t act as a separate entity.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Antennas should count as the final height though it’s basically an addition. PSFS Building is 491 feet to the roof, but the gigantic and extremely noticeable antenna brings it to 794 feet


Spires! beautiful spires! Spires that are covered. What they did to 1 WTC is a disgrace and I will never forgive it.

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So this isn’t a spire, but it’s a crown. One Congress/Bullfinch Crossing currently under construction in Boston, Block 185 in Austin (and others like them). It’s clearly part of the design of the building, so I think it counts. It’s not just a pole stuck on top.