12.22.2003 12:00 AM
New Plans for Freedom Tower in NYC
On Saturday there were several news stories published about the revised plans for the 1,776-foot tall Freedom Tower on the World Trade Center site. After reading some of the articles and looking at the artist renderings, you may be wondering where the TV antennas will be located.

The top of the tower is a lattice structure designed to hold windmills to provide energy for the building. Ken Tourbourne's article at NJ.com does not include a drawing of the structure, but says the antenna mast will be located off-center on the top of the structure, "to echo Lady Liberty holding her torch aloft." An article on ITV.com, 'Biggest building in world' unveiled" says there will be restaurants on the 71st and 72nd floor and an observation deck on the 73rd floor. The antenna mast can bee seen in the small drawing on the page above the windmills.

CNN.com revealed that the broadcast antenna structure attached to the tower would bring the structures' total height above 2,000 feet in the article Freedom Tower to rise 1,776 feet from the ashes -- Antenna raises structure height to more than 2,000 feet

Based on this statement in the CNN article, it appears that the antenna structure would start at the 1,776-foot level. The FAA and FCC have not authorized towers over 2,049 feet, which would imply that 273 feet would be available for the antenna structure. The antenna mast on top of the World Trade Center was 351.5 feet high, but this included over 100 feet of aperture for VHF standby antennas and FM antennas. Since the space is not likely to be available until close to or after the date analog broadcasting ends, this aperture may be sufficient for DTV-only antennas.

The CNN article has a link to open an interactive view of the Freedom Tower specifications. That drawing, however, shows the total height as 1,776 feet, implying the antennas would be part of the 276-foot spire. Silverstein Properties' Web site describes the Freedom Tower "with its antenna reaching a height of 1,776 feet." Regardless of whether the antennas top out at over 2,000 feet or at 1,776 feet, it appears even the lowest antenna will be above the height of the top of the WTC antenna mast.

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