One World Trade Center, known colloquially as Freedom Tower, is the main building of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. The original World Trade Center was destroyed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The tower is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. Its steel structure stops at 1,368 feet. However, with its antenna and spire, the full height reaches 1,776 feet, making One World Trade Center the fourth-tallest building in the world. The height is a deliberate reference to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.
The entire complex includes a transportation hub, a performing arts center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
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Key Features of One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center sits on the site of the original Six World Trade Center, an eight-story building that had served as the U.S. Customs House for New York. Architect David Childs is from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the same firm that designed Willis Tower in Chicago and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.
The building cost about $3.9 billion. It tapers octagonally as it rises, with an exterior of stainless-steel panels and blast-resistant glass.
Some of its business tenants include marketing and communications investment firms, broadcast companies such as Ion Media, and media company Condé Nast, whose publications include Allure, Architectural Digest, Glamour, GQ, Self, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired.
For the public, the tower offers One Dine, a bar and restaurant on the 101st floor, and One World Observatory, a three-story observation deck on floors 100 through 102 that includes exhibits about cities worldwide, the tower’s construction and the city’s bedrock. In addition, instead of a traditional audio tour, the iPad application One World Explorer allows visitors to scan the skyline and choose iconic sights. Guests also can step on a Sky Portal, a 14-foot-wide circular glass disc that uses high-definition footage to show the streets below.
History of One World Trade Center
2002: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation organizes a competition to determine how to use the site of the original World Trade Center, both to memorialize the attacks and rebuild the area.
2004: A symbolic cornerstone of the new tower is laid in a ceremony on July 4.
2005: The tower’s final design is unveiled.
2006: Construction begins. At a ceremony in Battery Park City in December, members of the public sign the first 30-foot steel beam to be installed onto the base of the building.
2012: The height of the tower’s steel structure surpasses that of the Empire State Building. President Barack Obama writes on a beam hoisted to the top: “We remember, we rebuild, we come back stronger!”
2013: The tower’s antenna, shipped from Quebec, is installed. The spire is completed in May.
2014: The building opens. The first tenant is media company Condé Nast, which relocated from Times Square.
2015: One World Observatory opens.
Location & Tourism
One World Trade Center is located at 285 Fulton Street, New York. Admission to the observation deck is free for 9/11 responders and families of 9/11 victims. Regular admission is $32 per person, with discounts for children and seniors.
Interesting Facts About One World Trade Center
- Elevators to the observatory climb 102 stories in 47 seconds.
- One World Trade Center connects to 12 city subway lines, 30 bus lines, and the PATH train connecting New York and New Jersey.
- The lobby’s 90-foot-long mural, “ONE: Union of the Senses” by Brooklyn-based contemporary artist José Parlá, is thought to be the largest painting in New York City.
- The building has 104 standard floors, but the tower actually has 94 stories, a mix of usable space, mechanical floors and other features.
- The unfinished tower can be seen in several films, TV shows and video games, including 2012’s The Avengers, 2013’s The Heat and the TV series Person of Interest.
- Even while under construction, the tower was lit in different colors, similar to how the Empire State Building’s lights commemorate special occasions. It was red, white and blue to honor Independence Day, Flag Day and the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. It also was illuminated red in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces, pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, and in multicolored lights for the holiday season in December.
- Roughly a week after the tower opened in November 2014, a two-man window-washing team needed to be rescued after cables suspending their scaffold grew slack. City firefighters used a diamond saw to cut through glass on the 69th floor and help them. The workers were treated at a hospital for mild hypothermia.
Directions to Belluck & Fox from One World Trade Center
Belluck & Fox’s NYC law office is located in Midtown Manhattan at 546 Fifth Ave., 5th Floor, New York NY 10036. From One World Trade Center, take West Street north to Spring Street and turn right. Turn left to head north on Hudson Street, then right onto King Street. Turn left to head north onto Sixth Avenue. Turn right onto West 46th Street, then right onto Fifth Avenue. Our office also is accessible via the city’s northbound 4/5 subway train from Fulton Street to Grand Central.
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