Posted: November 19, 2013 in Culture, Debate, Idle Nonsense, Skyscrapers

The tallest building in the U.S. is officially, according to the the Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the Freedom Tower in New York City, replacing the Willis Tower (a/k/a Sears Tower) in Chicago. Who knew there is a Council on Tall Buildings, or for that matter, a Height Committee? All kinds of criteria go into determining the height of a building, including highest roof, highest occupied floor, most storeys, highest fixed object, etc. The Freedom Tower edges out the Willis Tower because the former’s antenna counts as (ahem) a spire.

I’ve blogged about skyscrapers, particularly the tallest building sweepstakes, but controversy as to what counts as the tallest bit of building falls below my threshold of argument. (Besides, the Burj Khalifa won that global contest without even an inkling of doubt.) Not so with Chicago’s major, Rahm Emanuel, who is comparing the size of his city’s erection (as buildings are sometimes called, especially newly erected ones) against that of NYC with an immediate rebuke of the council’s decision. But because NYC leadership is in transition, having just elected a new major who is not yet installed in office, Mayor Emanuel is called to issue instead by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, payback for an earlier controversy surrounding competing pizza styles. Whereas Stewart is absolutely having fun in this cockfight, Emanuel seems to be a humorless fool. Nothing about this episode of dick measuring makes him look good, but his reputation in the media is already about as bad as it gets, so what does he care?

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