Nosy Neighbor: What Are Those White Bands on 1WTC’s Antenna?

Up until recently, 1 World Trade Center’s entire spire was one color. Now there are two distinct white bands. I’m wondering whether that’s functional or if the rest of the spire is going to be white? —Albert Lee

“Actually found my own answer,” he followed up. “Thought you might be interested.” Indeed!

The original design was to have a radome sheath around spire. Allegedly it was dumped due to concerns over safety and maintenance, but many believe the reality was cost. The two white-clad sections of the spire are UHF antennas, which are part of the migration by Durst to move TV transmissions back downtown from the Empire State Building, where transmissions were relocated to after the Twin Towers came down. So the two white antenna bands appear to be there to stay. And it looks like there’s a third antenna band coming at the base of the spire. From Radio in April of 2016: “Radio Frequency Systems has announced that two of the antennas it will supply to One World Trade has passed Factory Acceptance Testing. As a result, delivery of the antennas will take place in late April. […] RFS has also announced that a third antenna is currently in the design phase and is being slated for delivery in May. This new antenna is designed to deploy 96 UHF panels over eight levels and 12 sides around a circular superstructure. Wrapping around the spire at a lower level, the antenna has similarities to that were delivered to support the U.K. spectrum switchover.”

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  1. Hi,

    Great to see this update. As a member of the team who made this a reality I feel awesome.


  2. Good news for HDTV antenna users.