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. Zach

    I didn't even realize that they had started building it

    April 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proactive

      Same with me Zach. Didn't even realise a new building/edifice had started. Great work!

      April 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

    We all WISH, kormallain!!!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

    No, but it's what we're giving YOU!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

    Tastes like chicken, General.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • General Tso

      Thank you sir.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • General Tzo

      I can the REAL General of Chicken!

      April 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dark Helmet

      What's the matter Colonel sanders? Chicken?

      April 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      Bwa ha ha ha ha!

      April 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Army4Ever

    America you have become so naive and dumb down it almost unbearable. You keep listening to and believing these criminals that lie and get caught again and again. Bush didn't organize 9/11. He's too stupid for that. He was a puppet just like Clinton, Bush Sr, and Obama. There is an organized criminal network running the show and you better wake up. Hell even JFK knew there was and made a public speech announcing it and calling on the people and press to help. Your future and that of your children depends on you waking up and seeing what has become of the world. Believe nothing, question everything. Remove yourself from anything tied to our worthless fiat dollar, get out of the stock market it's a rigged game, buy some gold or silver before the $1.5 QUADRILLION derivatives bubble blows.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      Meh.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      I wonder what's it like to be inside your brain. Must be a messed up place.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

    Relevance? Oh, there is none.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    Hello

    April 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      Hello

      April 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOMBO ©

    I was trying to post that it would be cool if it fired lasers to defend itself from threats, but it kept getting blocked.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Phil Spectre

    The bigger they come, the harder they fall.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. yeahright

    It took only 1 year to build the Empire State Building and it will take well over 12 years to finish this one. The Arabs built taller buildings in just over a year and so has China. What has happened to America that we can't keep up with the rest of the world? We shouldn't be celebrating this, we should be trying to figure out what and taken us to this point and fix it.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      AMAZING! The twin towers were still there 12 years ago, duh!!!!

      April 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      DUH!!!! to me!!! I misread what you said.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norman

      LIES–12 YEARS? YOURE AN IMBECILE – the WTC just started construction a couple of years ago-it is far more complicated than the empire state

      April 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      You realize they didn't start building the second it went down right? Planning, getting approval from all sides, plus dealing with the construction unions. And it's not just any building, a plane won't get near this one.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GOVERNMENT LIES: YOU ARE CONTROLLED, TRUST NOBODY

    The jewish real estate developers of New York City realized the old World Trade Center was horribly outdated and purposefully demo'ed it for the insurance money. Now they are rebuilding it on the back of the taxpayer! STAND UP AGAINST THE MAN!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      Quiet arab.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      OH! The evil Zionists! Meh.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenkoosh

      And if somebody *thought* of that possibility ... well, then it *must* be true ...

      April 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      That's just sad.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kormallain

    For shame? HAHAHA! OBL had it comming and which US cityzens are you reffering to? Surely not the morons who decided to travel over to the M. East and preach hate vs. US. Good riddance!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    @Army4Ever...you speak of the Iluminati running the world's federal reserve systems, including the one gobbling up trillions worth of US property ea. year. (the fed ownss Harley-Davidson, for example) Even members of Israels Supreme Court are Freemasons of this highest order.
    They want a New World Order one-military government but patriots and nationalsists the world over do not. And so the iluminati have devised a way to scare the world into going-along: Invading Flying Saucers, all manmade.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      ^^^ And in rare form!

      April 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • kormallain

      They must have probed this guy a little to deep.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    There's a reason why Texas didn't get the Enterprize Space Shuttle! No, it has nothing to do with GWB! The reason why Texas didn't get the Enterprize is because everything in New York is BIG!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOOMER SOONER

      The only thing Texas deserves is all the mexicans crossing your border and deflowering your awful state.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      Everything is bigger in Texas... it's just that everything is BETTER in NYC.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

      Dee, you wish. Get real.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Norman

    idiot-now youve been reported and will be tracked down-we're ok because most terrorisst are imbeciles like yourself

    April 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
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