The New York City skyline and the nation received a new symbol of freedom and a step closer to being back in the record books.
Steel columns erected 1,271 feet above the ground on the 100th floor of One World Trade Center on Monday now make the aptly nicknamed ‘Freedom Tower’ the tallest building in New York, reports Yahoo! News. The addition puts the skyscraper just over the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Once completed in 2013, it will be the third tallest building in the world, behind the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, and the Taipei 101, in Taiwan.
Welcomed with Open Arms
Even though its 1,250-foot height, not including antenna, is now downgraded to the second tallest building in New York, the Empire State Building welcomes the newest addition. Owners of One World Trade Center intend to directly compete with the Empire State Building in tourism and broadcasting, which is perhaps why the old landmark greets the newly constructed one in the New York Post with all the gravitas of its history: “The world’s most famous office building, the ancestor of all super-tall towers, welcomes our newer, taller cousin to the skyline,” said the Empire State Building’s operators. “We’ve watched you grow, and now we salute you.”
Filling the Void
The construction of One WTC has not only slowly filled the gaping hole in left in Lower Manhattan by the Sept.11 terrorist attacks and subsequent destruction of the World Trade Center. Its progress has also slowly stitched up a gaping wound in the the hearts and minds of Americans. The final beam being placed is a symbol of recovery, although nothing can replace the sorrow of thousands of lives lost. Video of the event can be found on MSNBC.
“One World Trade Center is not merely the tallest building in New York, but also a symbol for liberty, opportunity and economic prosperity,” said New York Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler, reports the PIX11.com.
Once completed, the skyscraper will hold 71 office floors in three million square foot of space, shopping and an observation deck over 1,200 feet above ground level. One World Trade Center will be topped with a 408-foot spire, which will house an antenna, bringing the total expected height to 1,776 feet.
That height will place it taller than current tallest building in the United States, the 1,451-foot Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, in Chicago.