April 30th, 2012
10:20 AM ET

One World Trade Center becomes NYC's tallest building

[Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET] More than a decade after a terrorist attack brought down New York's twin towers, their under-construction replacement became the city's tallest building on Monday.

The placement of a column of the 100th floor brought the colossal new steel structure of One World Trade Center tower to a height of 1,271 feet - surpassing the frame of the Empire State Building, which is currently New York's tallest skyscraper, by 21 feet.

Built on what was referred to as ground zero in Lower Manhattan, the building is expected to reach 1,776 feet when it is finished by early 2014. The Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is the country's current record holder at 1,450 feet.

The One World Trade Center building will have three top-floor observation decks. Its first 90 floors will be designated for office space, and the following 10 floors will be reserved for air conditioning, heating, and electrical equipment.

Despite years of political infighting and real estate squabbling that delayed its construction, more than half of the building has now been rented, with a tenant list that includes Conde Nast publishing company and a Chinese real estate investment firm called Vantone Holdings.

In its shadow, twin reflecting pools are situated in the footprints of where the twin towers once stood.

A memorial at the site of one of the original World Trade Center buildings.

The names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 2001 attacks, as well as six people who died in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, are emblazoned across bronze panels ringing the pools.

The steel beams were placed atop the structure on Monday, one day before the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. The project is bringing a major milestone to the city and country, said Mike Mennella, the construction executive who was in charge of building the first towers and is helping to build the new structure.

"Today is a day where we can really look back and say the milestones we’ve surpassed and overcome are certainly more significant than the ones ahead of us," he said. "The building is in position now where we can see it coming from the top, and see it being finished off in a very, very significant way."

As the man who built the first towers, only to watch them fall during the terrorist attacks, Mennella knows just how important it is to be able to rebuild and start a new chapter in lower Manhattan.

"It's also big in the region," he said. "Seeing this building from all over the region - Long Island, New Jersey, New York - it's just a statement for the region that we’ve reached a real milestone."

Mennella said he came to the site on September 12, 2001, amid the devastation and always hoped he'd be able to be part of an effort to rebuild. He felt it wasn't just about rebuilding an icon of New York's skyline, but about helping heal and move forward.

"I think as people look at the building from afar and then realize the site that it sits on, the memorial it adjoins and what the site is about, what was lost here, and what is now being put back together - it's an exciting moment," he said.

soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    A matter of pride indeed. Bouncing back.
    Damage though runs deeper than the fall of Twin Towers. Economic & financial & political. A whole lot has changed for the worse. A divisive, distrustful, paranoid society we have become. Doing more harm to ourselves than any one else.
    It gave self serving politicians & the whole business of politics the lever to play on the theme of fear,hate & intolerance.
    Its time this nation takes a stock of itself , shakes off this mantle and join humanity.
    OWTC should inspire that.
    God Bless America & all peace loving people everywhere.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • TAK

      The messages should be closed after your post. Your post says it all.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      April 30, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • workshopmusic

      Truth... I can't add anything to that.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • b

      Well said.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • cutedog2

      Well stated , saywhat.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Seyedibar

      You follow all that up with "God bless America?"
      That's offensive. It's pretty obvious that people believing in gods is the problem here. It's the reason the towers came down and the reason this country spiraled into a political nightmare afterward. We could have spent all this construction money on education in a bid to cure the next generation from primitive thought.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jinpei

      Yes, God Bless America. I am offended that someone (Seyedibar) would suggest that the US should ignore the Bill of Rights, and start discriminating against people based on religion.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Seyedibar, just ignore the last line; it does not take away from the message of the proceeding six.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. trek820

    Yeah, our society has definately changed for the worse.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • janeta

      Yes, it has... some people in this country can't even spell definitely correctly.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. mparr22

    It's only been 10 years, not a lot of time when you put it in perspective. We will bounce back, you will see.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I sincerely hope so.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • mparr22

      I like to believe that this single tower represents a big middle finger to the cowards that took the first towers.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. apes

    They need to place lasers on top these building that can destroy incoming attacks by air.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • bstump

      Haha, sweet idea.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio Alvarez

      the british are placing SAM launchers on buildings for the summer olympics. maybe we should too.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. t3chsupport

    I get that it's an impressive tower, and it's of course an emotional subject, but am I the only one here seeing that what they are building is simply a bigger target, which they are going to again fill with people? Osama may be dead, but that doesn't mean there aren't people who are just waiting for that thing to get finished so they can find some way to undo it again. Some of them possibly already in our own country. Possibly even OF our own country. People are getting crazier and crazier.

    What happens when another lunatic comes along and tries to take this down? Go invade another country that had nothing to do with it, and slaughter tens of thousands of innocents again because we lost 3k to a few guys in an airplane? And what if it's one of our own loonies, civil war then, or go find another country that had nothing to do with it again to take out or rage on for 10 years?

    I get that we can't keep living in fear, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't learn from our past. It'll look nice on a post card, but I for damn sure would never step foot in that building. Would you really want that kind of bulls-eye on your office window?

    April 30, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio Alvarez

      considering how airport security is no longer the joke from the pre-9/11 years, an attack of similar scale is less probable.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Why should fear of another attack stop the US from building a tower on this site? To me the new tower represents the spirit of the country. Not building a replacement for the twin towers says we are weak. I wish there had been much more coverage of the building of the tower.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      I see where you are coming from.. Being a Big target. But we as Americans are stronger and are more alert now with Bravery added to the mix. I can say that if another plane were to get Hijacked , We would stop that person and give them the smackdown. Im ready to defend my country.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      Better not drive your car because some loonie might decide to end his life and ram you head on.

      Better yet, don't even step out of your door because you might get hit by a car or something.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      I'm sure allot of people have thought the same thing. Oh well, guess time will tell.

      April 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. donna

    Now, that's the way America does things – we build it bigger and better!

    April 30, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • duh

      bigger at least.....

      April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David M

    The events of 9/11 show one more thing that we tend to lose sight of. It only took a handful of men to forever change the world in a negative way. Think what a handful of people can do to change the world in a positive way. Good will always triumph over evil.

    Next time you think you can't make a difference, think again.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • SlaveWorld

      "Good will always triumph over evil."
      Says Who?

      April 30, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Adam

    We should destroy more buildings, now we have two pretty buildings surrounded by an ugly city.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Someguy

      To each their own ... I happen to think NY is a beautiful city.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    This building will always be a symbol of mass murder committed by the Neo Cons in order to push through The Patriot Act to keep the military/industrial complex going and to reverse decades of social progress. Everyone knows 911 was a set up and the legacy of it is fear, repression, murder, theft of civil and bargaining rights and a huge increase in terrorism. Someday a factual movie will be made about 911 and the main villain will be Cheney sitting at the controls of the Air Force that morning, wetting himself with glee thinking of all the money he's going to steal with Haliburton and Blackwater.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • David M

      Do you actually believe that nonsense? No one is government is smart enough to set up such a thing as this and then keep it secret. They can't even put together a balanced budget. How do you think they could put together a scenario like this?? That alone is reason enough NOT to believe that drivel. If you do believe it, then you are one deluded individual.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      Funny that the same people who make fun of Bush's intelligence are the same people who think he masterminded the greatest hoax in the history of mankind. I wouldn't give any of our public officials that much credit.

      They couldn't even keep Watergate a secret. How are they supposed to keep a hoax like 9/11 secret?

      April 30, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. You'redilusional

    Give it a year or so and the Mossad will knock it down, Iran will be 'responsible" and presto, your war with Iran is cooked, and your stupid Americans won't question it either.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jinpei

      You, sir, are a buffoon.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. flfx

    Congrats NYC from Texas. We are with you all the way.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    @You'r dellusionalI
    I think we are waking up, this will not be allowed to happen again.
    As that widely read & respected Israeli journalist Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz on April 3rd (an article worth a read) " Israel doesn't know when to stop & it could pay dearly as a result. A time will come when America gets tired of Israel".

    As for a war with Iran. The ex-Israeli PM Olmert also took up the cudgels against the policies of NetanYahu on Iran, joining the Army Chief, chiefs of Spy agencies and our own agencies and DOD. This war too I hope is not going to happen.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Duane

    I for one will love to go to NYC and see the new WTC. I visited the original back in 84 and loved the view from the deck, and it was a definite personal view when they fell. Glad we can show those who sought to bring us down the finger and that the USA will always bounce back.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ron

    They should put giant lazors on it and destroy anything that comes within a mile of the building.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. politicallyinsurrect

    Why don't they have the names of every person in the US, Afghanistan, and Iraq, who has died as a result of the war on terror?

    April 30, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
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