The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat had deliberated whether the spire was part of the actual building or merely the equivalent of a broadcast antenna, which it doesn't consider as the top of a building. The official ranking goes into effect when 1 World Trade opens, expected to be some time next year. If the needle was not considered, 1 World Trade Center would be 1,368 feet tall, making it shorter than the 1,450-foot Willis Tower in Chicago.
SOM in the Press
New York's One World Trade Beats Chicago's Willis Tower
Source: WNYC News