Today marks the 11th anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The event left a large hole in downtown Manhattan, and between the clean-up efforts and the compromising, it took years for a construction project to begin again on the site.
A project did begin, though, and it is ambitious. Construction on the One World Trade Center (1 WTC), formerly known as the Freedom Tower, is six years in, and still not complete. The building, when complete, will have 90 floors, house 3 million square feet, and be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. In July it was announced that 55% of the space inside the building has already been leased. Some notable tenants include the U.S. General Services Administration and Conde Nast, which will house its global headquarters in 1 WTC.
The construction finally began in 2006 after disputes between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the project developers were settled. For two years workers toiled underground, preparing the base of the structure. After four more years of steady construction, finally, back in April of this year, 1 WTC became the tallest building in New York City.
“Following years of hard work and numerous challenges, this world-class skyscraper reached an incredible milestone today, taking its place as the crown jewel of New York’s skyline,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye back on April 30. “When One World Trade Center opens to the public, it will not only be a place to work, shop and eat, but a place where people will marvel at its amazing rebirth; one that will anchor Lower Manhattan for many generations to come.”
Construction continues apace and just last month a special beam signed by President Obama, Michelle Obama, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others, was hoisted and secured atop 1WTC. The building is on-track to open in 2014
President mentioned One World Trade Center during his weekly address, which was primarily about the U.S. response to the September 11, 2001 attacks:
Instead of pulling back from the world, we’ve strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home. As Americans, we refuse to live in fear. Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline. And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.
(Photo courtesy Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Wikimedia Commons)