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. stupid.pride

    It will be destroyed, just like the towers before. That is a sure thing to bet on. Congratulations, fools. You just put up a large target for all wannabe terrorists to dream about.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • MobiusEight

      So then we build another one. And another and another, no matter how many times they think they strike a death blow, we will show them that we cannot be stopped. More fool they that keep killing themselves for no reason.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyW

      No Reply needed for THIS Assinine comment...╬

      May 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Donald Thompson

    A perfect target for Al Quaeda.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Eastern Eye

    Wish them, to build a world's tallest building in the world.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kyanzes

    I'd be hesitant to rent an office there TBFH.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Zach

    It was built with terrorist, and other attacks in mind. They could fly another plane right into it, and the damage would not be very severe. It would remain standing. There was a mini series on Discovery Channel on about it a while ago. The thing is practically indestructible. It would take a lot to bring it down, and if somebody wanted to, people would notice before it would happen.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Myto Senseworth

    I would not work there. The bigger they are ...the harder they fall.

    May 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Enzo Tambellini

    Wow, CNN webpage has a lot of dopes posting comments on here. As my Italian American grandma would say, Enzo, "deh world is a filled with da idiota".
    So happy that we rebuilt the WTC area. Very proud to be a New Yorker and an American... God Bless the USA!

    May 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ted Ward

    It's a beautiful building ! Long may it stand !

    May 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |

    Let the attackers get the message that their job is to distruct and our job is to build . I applaud ppl of USA for its patience and courage

    May 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Contra Archy

    One World!!!! NYC is not only the world's trade center and the world's most cosmopolitan city, it is, for all practical purposes, the capital of the world.

    Poor, pitiful, poweless terriorists – overrun by the advancing cosmo-polis – ONE WORLD!!

    May 2, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mortimer Levy

    Congratulate yourselves. You've done what had to be done. When you get knocked down,..you get up and fight again.
    God Bless America M.Levy Montreal, Canada

    May 2, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. danabashed

    this builiding won't last more than one year before more Muslim terrorists knock it iover....Sayonara!!!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • crystalbratcher

      you are definitely wrong on that one.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pvt panik

    not on our watch!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
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