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. Philip

    lol. "kiss china commie"...all the way to Wal-Mart.

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

      You have a solution, I suppose?

      April 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Giant Lazors

    That building looks like it was built out of sheet metal. That piece of junk is going to blow over like an empty aluminum can.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    "most" terrorists are imbiciles. LMAO

    April 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Still seems like there's a void there! Shame on you Mayor Bloomburg and company! You should've built two! Very bad decision making!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @DeeNYC

    Agree! The New York Giants are way better than the Dallas Cowboys! Go BIG BLUE!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

    Has your hat been recalled?

    April 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Otto Rank Sr.

    I hope the new building won't have the faulty construction methods and materials of the old buildings.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • aussyt

      ahhh your funny. i see what you did there, by inserting your theories into the comment.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Blow It Up

    Someone needs to destroy this abomination and give my hometown Chicago back what it deserves: the nation's tallest building. And, oh, yeah, I stopped caring about 9/11 on 9/13. Didn't happen to my home, and happened to a city that deserves it.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryox82

      .....you base that on what? I hope you aren't representative of the type of people from your city. It's not a good look.

      April 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      You need help! What's that lake called in Chicago? Lake Erie? You should go jump in it!

      April 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      You are a pice of work

      April 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jinpei

      Wow, I didn't know there were Islamic terrorists in Chicago. Maybe somebody will send a predator drone to your house, and blow that up instead.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Blah blah:
      It's Lake Michigan, and no, he is not indicative of the people of Chicago.
      He's just a troll.
      No one cares what they think....

      April 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastrychefvt

      Wow, so when (God forbid) the same happens to "your" hometown, I'm sure you'll feel that y'all deserved it? You disgust me.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Werther

      What an interesting comment...but why?

      April 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Jinpei:
      I agree in theory...but I don't want to die because of this piece of scat.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rhope

      The word Pathetic does not start to describe you type... so do have a good afternoon

      April 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie B.

      Please go crawl back in your hole, or move to Afghanistan. Thank you.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      @ Blow it up: Go swallow some anti-freeze you waste of space!

      April 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • donna

      wow you are very ignorant.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Dude ..

      April 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      cptpooppants:
      Nah, Chicago doen't blow...just Blow It Up does.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

    It's called One World Trade Center. Quit reaching. Get it?

    April 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Be Honest

    Take that "Al key Da" or whatever your name is... You took it down and we built it back up again. In your face!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • j-pap

      And just like America always does, it laughs at the face of history and is forever doomed to repeats itself. Why not put a massive target in the exact same spot. Oh right. you did. Anyone who works in there has a death wish.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jenkoosh

    Bravo to the companies that have rented space.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Areyoukiddingme

    How dare they even mention the 3000 people who died and the "one year anniversary of Osama Bin Ladens death" in the same paragraph let alone the same story!!!!!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • SocialTourist

      How dare you even mention the 3000 people who died and the "one year anniversary of Osama Bin Ladens death" in the same comment let alone the same sentence!!!!!

      April 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • j-pap

      I dunno..maybe cause they have a correlation?

      April 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Darrell

    This is going to sound bad, but why do I feel MEH about this? I just finished viewing a few pics of the Dubai skyline...buildings like this are popping out of the sand over there one a month. For something that is so significant why does it look/feel so completely inadequate? Unfortunately this building represents the decline of the American spirit rather than celebrate Americas greatness...when you sail up to the NY skyline it just blends in like any other generic glass/steel building. I was hoping for something incredible...meaningful, innovative, grandbreaking, awe-inspiring...unfortunately, these things left to our once great history.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      We can never replace what was lost that day...and any building that would be built to take its place would probably fall short.
      I think it is more of the spirit behind the endeavor that's more important, anyway.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cat

      The reason buildings can pop up out of the ground in other countries is because they don't have to abide by all the myriads of crazy regulations and red tape that are now required in this country. It could still be done here if people didn't have their hands tied.

      April 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dennis

    Too bad, I mean SO GLAD, Bin Laden didn't live to see the day.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Name*fred pape

    Yawn

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