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. Older Sista

    It's too bad that the office spaces are being rented out to other countries. Maybe it's a good example of the United States extending a hand to the world again but still............it would be kinda nice if it were USA businesses only.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      That would kinda go against the whole WORLD Trade thingy...it's a nice idea, though.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • the ders

      well it is called the WORLD trade center, how about just a majority american owned

      April 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.Patricj

      @ Older Sista: "it would be kinda nice if it were USA businesses only"

      Yes, because remaining xenophobic works so well for America. *sigh* By your logic, we should close all the borders and stop immigration... because.. you know.. the USA wasn't founded by immigrants or anything...

      April 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ahkmed the Terror Guy

    Most Americans evidently don't realize how easy it is to get into the USA especially since 9/11. and even todaya, 10 yrs. later, your citiy water supplies are unguarded and illegal Mexicans can Still walk right in. Oh, it's a lot harder to get a passport and get out. But it's as easy as ever to sneak into the US AND RAISE WHATEVER KIND IF HAVOC A TERRORIST WOULD RAISE. (disguised as an illegal Mexican to escape detection)

    April 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • RS

      Oh yeah, I hate all those Mexican terrorists that we've been having problems with all these years! Oh, wait, that's never happened. And the 9/11 terrorist were here legally. Well, keep running scared, and keep believing those Repubs.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • no.

      100% of the 9-11 terrorists entered the US on visas. None came in through Mexico.

      April 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. porichkid

    america will rise like the phoenix,and the empire will strike back.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. QuestionEverything

    "One World" Trade Center

    April 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      There IS only one tower....derp.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pop

    NEVER TRUST NATO..... NATO could possibility attack Manhattan.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • John80

      That is wrong on so many levels.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      ...not to mention the possible of hearing 'snap, crackle, pop' in their cereal too. Hey, it's a possible.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Grigory Dashevsky.

    batter later than never...

    April 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dreamer96

    If they are going to call it the One World Trade Center..They should have made it look like one Great Big Finger, and you know which finger I mean...

    April 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      Seen at the right angle, it already does!

      April 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dirk diggler

    i thought it was supposed to be 104 floors?

    April 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ahkmed the Terror Guy

    At least when Americans get an emergency government warning, they don't have to build 40 trillion dollars worth of underground fallout shelters and military facilities as during the 'Cold War'. The Bush admin. recommended duct-tape and plastic sheeting in case of dirty bomb attack is comparativly inexpensive. Lucky for US the terrrorists weren't the Russians after all.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      Ah, the MacGuyver defense...like going under a wooden desk would sheild a A bomb attack...priceless!!

      April 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ZepLedHead

    Did they design this one with additional security measures – like an anti-aircraft gun station at the top? How about learning the lessons from the first Architectural shortcomings?

    April 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Manny

    Good, it will take the "target status" off of the Empire State Building, a structure that really means something.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cassarit

    My happy thoughts for the day:

    The Empire State is still the tallest building in NUYC over the longest time. That record will probably stand forever. I give this newfangled architectural monstrosity about 10 years at most, before Al-Qaeda or the developers bring it down.

    The Empire State may even be the longest standing over time in the whole country.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. open400

    The only way I would work in that building is to 10,000 cameras, 5,000 security workers and a half dozen Black Hawk
    heliocopters patrolling the area. I hate hieght and coul dnot imagine being in that building.

    April 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chris

    I dont understand why some people think that another 9-11 will happen. Im pretty sure people on hijacked flights would fight back knowing now that islamic terrorist are on suicidw missions

    April 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Someone Somewhere

      It shows how little sense you have when making such remarks with misinformation. Those nuts were not "islamic terrorist." Don't use a beautiful religion next to such a terrible word. Do you call the KKK "Christian terrorists"? Do you call the Nazis, which used the twisted cross and killed 6,000,000 Jews, Gypsies, disabled persons, etc as a "Christian Nation"? Please be a little more respectful when speaking about a faith rather than an extreme fringe minority.

      If Islam was truely a faith of terror, with the fact nearly 1 in every 5 persons in the world is Muslim, then the entire world would be up in flames and there would only be nothing but chaos, destruction & instability on every grain of sand in this known world.

      April 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. josh rogen

    I think the guy who built the first towers should have been arrested for its shoddy construction., and not allowed anywhere near this one

    April 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John80

      It could withstand anything BUT a massive jet feul fire. And I doubt the new one will be able to either. Gimme a break.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      The guy who designed the original WTC towers died soon after they fell.

      After his death, the "experts" all found that he didn't make a mistake; they did in their failure analysis.

      April 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      lol yeah... it's a shame they're DEAD! lol... jeez bunch of genius on this site.

      April 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Shoddy construction??!!! You obviously know very little about construction and forces of impact! I think he should be applauded for constructing buildings that stood so long after being hit by missiles! I was amazed that the stood as long as they did, allowing more people to escape. Nothing can be built to withstand everything. Those planes were missiles that created monster fire balls inside the building.
      Get a clue!

      April 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • RJ

      That has to be the stupidest comment to date.
      The towers were never designed to handle that type of impact and fire.

      April 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
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