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. GenericMan

    Life goes on, but travelling completely sucks nowadays. What a bunch of trash, there is no cause to celebrate rebuilding that when we cannot board planes without hassles.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      You don't see a correlation between the two??

      April 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      What an idiotic comment, GenericMan. All those people who died and you're worried about a little inconvenience at an airport. I think this new tower is great and a wonderful symbol for America.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Frank

    People of the United States of America and President Obama,
    MSNBC and CNN should never critical of FOX News. I hope President Obama takes credit for the WTC becoming the tallest building in the western hemisphere under his leadership!!!!!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Oh Well

    As if the first two targets were not big enough. Stop thinking that America is immune to its actions around the world...still in progress. And you still can't get a hook and ladder to the top floors.......

    April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ellen Claire Kowit

    I hope the buildings are standing 100 years from now.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ethan of Vermont

    Wow this is a great achievement for the United States as a whole. Soon everything in NYC will be back to normal.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pete

    Why don't everyone stop the ranting and enjoy our UNION CRAFTSMEN at work,they're fast workers aren't they.Everyone tells us Union brothers we're do nothin jerks,but they're so far from the truth and NY and other big cities are there to see to prove it.Thanks for enjoying,visit it when its done,it'll be breath taking....

    April 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • TIDubai

      The Burj Khalifa in Dubai started construction in 2004 (3 years after 9/11) and was finished less than 6 years later... in January 2010. One World Trade center will be 1776 feet high while the Burj is 2723... almost a thousand feet higher. What is taking them so long in New York???

      April 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Why ???

    Why is it named "One World Trade Center" ? Maybe for "One World Government."

    April 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Because it is the first building?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Julie

    ANGRY people around here, the problem is not out there...the problem is within....YOU are the problem

    April 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ted Ward

    Yes and the tallest building in the world is now in...Dubai?! Of course. tall buildings over 100 floors are just about all elevator shafts, not economic or rational, but only serve as symbols of how high reinforced concrete can be stacked by foreign engineers and philipinne workers.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fun Fact

    Looking at the expected height they plan on reaching in 2014, take away the comma and you've the year that our country gained its independence.
    God Bless America

    April 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • WriterGuy

      And you just figured that our now? That's been the one constant through a tortured planning process: the tallest building would always be 1,776 feet tall. Symbolism first, architecture and building planning second...

      April 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. give it up already

    we're sick of it already.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr Dalloway

    Tallest building in the world?.....another swing and a miss for America, let's grow up already!

    April 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marine5484

      It's now the tallest building in NYC...not the world.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Uh, we have. Apparently you haven't yet. The article says it's the tallest building in New York, and soon the country. Swing and a miss there, Mr. Dalloway!

      May 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • haha worng

      it says nyc's tallest building learn to ready buddy

      May 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • ....

      Tallest building in NYC, not the world.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyW

      The Article NEVER mentions the world troll-. It continually mentions NYC and or the USA. Swing and Miss at your own game. GB the USA !

      May 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • danabashed

      the birg dubai ow what it was called when finished two years ago is more than three times as tall as this building!!!

      May 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. smh

    Funny how there hasn't been anymore attacks like that one since then....sounds real fishy to me.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reflecto

      I'm sure it has nothing to do with our guys hunting down and killing most of them. It must be a conspiracy, just like the "sun rises only in the east" conspiracy and the "water is wet" conspiracy.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      What are you on. There have not been any successful attacks, but they have tried & gotten caught.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
    • ....

      Attacks on that scale are not easy to carry out, especially after 9/11. Use common sense.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. genius republican

    this is obama's fault!

    May 1, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Neal

    now u gave them a new target to aim at. idiots. should have left the things as they were, a mystery

    May 1, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
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