The Freedom Tower in New York is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 542 meters (1,777 feet), surpassing Chicago's Willis Tower, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat said Tuesday.

The New York edifice, whose official name is One World Trade Center, takes the title as tallest after including the spire installed this year, which raises it from 417 meters (1,367 feet) to 542 meters (1,777 feet), leaving the 442 meters (1,449 feet) of the Chicago skyscraper behind.

Once complete, the Freedom Tower will be the third tallest building in the world, trailing only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the CTBUH said.

"The design of One World Trade Center, as explained to us, reinforces its role as a symbol of resurgence on this important site," CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood said.

The building stands on the site of the original Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, destroyed in the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.

Chicago's Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, stands 130 stories high and is topped by an observation deck with a very popular bar and restaurant.

For many years New York retained the title for the tallest skyscraper in the world, thanks to the Empire State Building, but in 1974 the Sears Tower went up in Chicago and snatched that honor away. EFE