Weather Postpones Trade Center’s Ascent to Tallest

NEW YORK (AP) -

One World Trade Center already is New York’s tallest building.

And when the last pieces of its spire eventually rise to the roof, the 104-floor skyscraper that replaces the fallen Twin Towers will be just feet from becoming the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

Officials had hoped that would happen Monday, but the weather did not cooperate and it was postponed due to high winds. The event will be rescheduled when conditions permit.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the spire pieces and a steel beacon will be lifted at a later date from the rooftop to cap the building at 1,776 feet.

Installation of the 800-ton, 408-foot spire began in December, after 18 pieces were shipped from Canada and New Jersey. The spire will serve as a world-class broadcast antenna.

With the beacon at its peak to ward off aircraft, the spire will provide public transmission services for broadcast channels that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Monday’s postponed celebration was to come days after a grisly reminder of the terror attack: the discovery of a rusted airplane part wedged between a nearby mosque and an apartment building — believed to be from one of the hijacked planes that ravaged lower Manhattan.

Officials announced Monday that the part was believed to be from a wing, not landing gear, as they had said the day before.

The 5-foot piece was a trailing edge flap support structure located closer to the body of the plane and helps secure wing flaps that move in and out and aid in regulating plane speed. Investigators initially thought it was part of the landing gear because both pieces have similar-looking hydraulics.

Boeing officials told police the part came from one of its 767 airliners, but it isn’t possible to determine which flight. Both hijacked planes that struck the towers, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were Boeing 767s.

Police said the part would be moved to a more secure location likely later this week, where a determination will be made about where it will go permanently. In the past, such pieces have been treated as historical artifacts.

The office of the city’s chief medical examiner was working in the hidden alley where debris may still contain human remains.

The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere is the Willis Tower in Chicago. The world’s tallest building, topping 2,700 feet, is in Dubai.