[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 ofÂ One World Trade Center tower to a height of 1,271 feet -Â surpassing the frame of the Empire State Building, which is currently New York's tallest skyscraper, byÂ 21 feet.
Built on what was referred to as ground zero in Lower Manhattan, the building isÂ 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 willÂ have three top-floor observation decks. ItsÂ first 90 floors will be designated for office space, andÂ 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.
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 isÂ bringing a major milestone to the city and country, saidÂ 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 weâ€™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 -Â Long Island, New Jersey, New York -Â it's just a statement for the region that weâ€™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 theÂ buildingÂ 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.
I like the tower but wish they would've gone bigger...
That's what your wife said but she loves you none the LESS.
Ba dum dum. *Ching*
big deal, the arabs built the tallest building in the world a few years ago...
Is it bad that i didn't even know that they had begun building this?
Yeah but in about a year NY will hold the record of having the tallest building in the CIVILIZED world.
If we wanted to stick a giant toothpick in the sand like the did in Dubai, we could've done that a decade ago.
Nice to see but would not want to work above say 10th floor .
You know, the building you work in could have a gas leak and explode. That's a lot more likely to happen than another commercial airliner flying into the new WTC building. Better find a bomb shelter or something like that to live in, otherwise you can't guarantee your safety!
Here we go again, showing our arrogance. We gotta build the tallest to let the world know who mighty we are. Please, use that money to save the country from going down the drain instead. Didn't we learn anything from 9/11? Obviously, not.
they're not building the tallest building in the world, they're rising from the ashes of 9/11.
I wouldnÂ´t worry about someone taking this tower down, the next time it happens, if it happens, all the population of New York City will be asian, african and latin.
One World Trade Center. Mixed feels for sure. As an American, it shows our resilience to rebuild and our defiance against defeatism. The name "One World" can be looked at in the light of humanity coming together as one, but my intuition has this uneasy sense of it having the double meaning of One World New Order. I guess the only way that humanity will ever experience cohesion, will be by coercion though. For now, I'll look at it as healing for New Yorkers and keep positive.
It should have been called 1221 World Trade Center, you're right.
One World Trade Center is the address. WTC 1, WTC 2, etc...
And with obama shooting off his mouth about how he got Bin Laden it give the radical moslems something to go after.
Well put me on the same list as Mr. Obama! now go hide in your closet.
Only complaint I have is that it should be the tallest building in the world
I can see it from the other side of the Hudson! But the sad thing about it all is if Mitt Romney gets elected, it would be all rubbles all over again with his threats of more global wars! Please America, keep all republicans from ever getting into the White House and congress again!
Without our wars, how will defense contractors like halliburton continue to make oil-company-esque profits? These are businesses that we must see to their well-being!
To be the leader of the world,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,America needs a greatest heart,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,a great building is good,,,,,,,,,,,,,but it's not the most important thing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I was at the NY Giants Super Bowl parade earlier in the year and the fans were in such awe as they exited the subway en route to Broadway, pausing to take pictures and reflect! That's one beautiful building! Too bad they didn't build two!
I walked in the rubble pile after the attacks as part of the national Guard, I searched trucks, busses and cars in the weeks after during the hysteria that we would be attacked again...and oh by the way someone was sending anthrax spores through the mail. We would muse that when the towers would be rebuilt, they would be in the form of a big middle finger....that is what this new tower looks like to me...a big middle finger! USA USA USA!!!
True, but we can, in return, fly our bombers over the pathetic village you snuck in from and reduce it to rubble.
There's always another village to bomb. For once, why not try and figure out why they hate you so much and fix that.
^^^^^ Need I say more?