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. Mark

    Some people are really nuts.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark - Atlanta

    I'm a gun owner. I have a carry permit. I'm a veteran. I have been trained. I have sense. This garbage of shooting someone for waving their hands in the air, or chasing someone down, is wrong and should be addressed by the law. The knife incident can't be stopped, knives are everywhere. He should be prosecuted. There is no need to chase someone down for a property crime. But apparently some people are issued carry permits who are who are not wired quite right. That gives responsible gun owners a bad name. I'm not too happy about their actions, and I'm sure others like me are not either. They need to seriously look at prosecuting people who pull this kind of baloney, and maybe it will stop. They had better do it soon before we lose our right to carry because of a few goofballs.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      Wrong thread, Sparky.

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

    "We will rebuild
    We will not yield
    We will not falter
    We are the USA
    We're America
    The Freedom Tower
    The rise of a new dawn!"

    April 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      Israel said the same thing in their arrogance and they ignored the warning to turn.

      "The Lord has pronounced judgment on the kingdom of Israel (America), on the descendants of Jacob. All the people of Israel (America), everyone who lives in the city of Samaria, will know that he has done this. Now they are proud and arrogant. They say,

      The brick buildings have fallen down, but we will replace them with stone buildings. The beams of sycamore wood have been cut down, but we will replace them with the finest cedar. The Lord has stirred up their enemies to attack them. Syria on the east and Philistia on the west have opened their mouths to devour Israel (America). Yet even so the Lord's anger is not ended; his hand is still stretched out to punish.

      The people of Israel (America) have not repented; even though the Lord Almighty has punished them, they have not returned to him." -Isaiah 9:8-13

      But all who turn to Jesus will be saved for it's not God's will that any should perish. For Jesus Christ died and was raised to life that we might be reconciled to God and be in right standing with Him.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      Wait, so Israel said that they were USA and made comments about the Freedom Tower?

      April 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dr John F

    One world tower? Why not American Freedom Tower? One World just sounds like a New World Order... hmmmm....

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

      Because Five World Tower would sound stupid, as there is only ONE TOWER!

      April 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robbie Lilly

    Blah blah blah blah.....think what you want. The man on top will always be over analyzed. This is still the best country in the world!!!!!! All governments are currupt, especially the middle eastern governments.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PHinMiami

    All that's missing is a giant red bull's-eye on the side.

    Why tempt the zealots??

    April 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TotallyBlessed

    You know whats funny to me. After 9/11 everyone want to get together and pray but when everything started to die down, everyone goes back to their life like this never ever happened. Open your eyes folks, no matter what goes on....we all suppose to continue to pray for ourselves and for others.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • skytag

      "Open your eyes folks, no matter what goes on....we all suppose to continue to pray for ourselves and for others."

      There are a lot of haters who think of themselves as good Christians and pray regularly. I'd rather see us learn to treat each other with respect. Praying for others strikes me as asking God to do something so you don't have to be bothering doing it yourself.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dr John F

    So that makes it okay for ours to be corrupt? come again?

    April 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      Who are you talking to?

      April 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nate

    What is with all the commy left winged hippy talk on here today. Be proud of your freaking country for once. I think it is great that we are building something today that is going to be awe inspiring. I am sick of only hearing about how China and Dubai are doing great things. All I ever hear anymore is negativity from you people. I am sick of feeling guilty for living in a great country that has done some pretty wonderful things thanks to the hard work of our ancestors. So many of you just want to bash it. Well leave it then. Go to your left winged European counterpart countries and see how that philosophy is working for them. Not worth a damn.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      WARNING! Gratuitous statements against people who are not Nate!

      April 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • real talk

      Amen! I agree with you Nate. We do need to be more positive and proud. You're bashing the left and blaming them in your comment though contradicts what you were saying. However, I do agree with what you were saying. Wait....some one from the center left and the right wing agree on something! Hurry! Perhaps we should run for congress! Lol

      April 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TruthofDare

    I always said Built something bigger and better. It is a symbol of determination to carry on no matter what they do to us. We will build another one and another one after that. We will not be cowed by some cowards hiding in a cave who havent washed their bodies for months.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark - Atlanta

    I am so, so sorry about my last post. I messed up and posted on the wrong thread. I will pay closer attention from now on.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      No worries, Mark – Atlanta.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

      @ Mark – Atlanta:
      I enjoyed reading your post about the proper use of guns here.
      I agree with you.
      If you hadn't put it on this thread by mistake, I might have missed it.
      Thank you for making the little mistake.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pop


    April 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. German

    I from Germany this not good for america, America blow up their own towers!

    April 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      You are not from Germany. You're trying to take this is a new direction. Won't work.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pop

      Of Course, we have American Kids foresaw french warplanes blow up Manhattan with dozens of bombs.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Vituous Corpse

    Ten years is an awful long time for even the most-patient of corpses to wait for a decent headstone. Glad you folks could finally decide on a decent one. Who is going to pay for it? Lloyd's of London insurance paid for 80% of all damages to the Tower complex 9/11, even though insurance doesn't cover acts of war. Only in peoples minds was 9/11 an act of war. In reality and as far as anything official, it was a crime against humanity, aka againstWorld Trade. What happened at the Pentagon was an act of war, with the US being that attacks only victim.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Timesawastin

    It should not take over a decade to build something like this. Its gonna take another 2-3 yrs before they can even occupy it?

    Talk about gov red tape /bureaucracy at it's best.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
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