One of the most amazing skyscrapers in the world would never have been built if it weren’t for the terrible events that happened on September 11, 2001.
Less than 5 years after the dreadful terrorist attack which destroyed the two towers of the original World Trade Center, the construction of this amazing building in New York started and the result is magnificent!
In this post, you’ll discover the top 8 list of fun and interesting facts about One World Trade Center, one of the most famous skyscrapers in NYC!
1. One World Trade Center holds some amazing records
The One WTC Tower is the centerpiece of the newly constructed World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It was built on the location of the 6 World Trade Center Tower, one of the 7 original towers on the site.
One of the most amazing facts about One World Trade Center is that it’s the tallest building in the United States and the tallest skyscraper in the entire Western Hemisphere! The tower has some dazzling stats:
- Architectural height: 1,776 feet (541.3 meters)
- Height to the tip: 1,792 feet (546.2 meters)
- Height of top floor: 1,268 feet (386.5 meters)
- Height of roof: 1,368 feet (417 meters)
- Floor count: 94 + 5 below ground
- Floor area: 3,501,274 square feet (325,279 square meters)
- Elevator count: 73
This amazing tower which dominates the New York skyline is also the 6th tallest skyscraper in the world at the moment of writing this article (December 2020)!
It’s not the tallest free-standing structure in North America though. This record is reserved for the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, which stands about 40 feet (12.2 meters) taller.
2. Its height in feet is a reference to an important year in U.S. history
Have you noticed something special about the architectural height of the tower?
Yes, the 1,776 feet is a reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed, one of the most important moments in U.S. history which happened on July 4 of that year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This document goes into full detail as to why the 13 states at war with the United Kingdom of Britain at the time considered themselves to be free states, no longer under British rule.
This height was achieved on May 10, 2013, when the final part of the spire decorating its top was hoisted into position.
3. The skyscraper was supposed to have a different name
During the first years of planning and construction, the tower was referred to as the “Freedom Tower,” which was its official name before March 26, 2009. After this year, the owners of the tower, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, decided to rename it.
One World Trade Center is the same name as the North Tower, one of the original Twin Towers which was destroyed during the terrorist attacks.
4. The architect’s firm also designed the tallest building in the world
The main architect of the building was David Childs, the chairman of the global architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He basically took over the job of Daniel Libeskind, the architect who had won the initial architectural competition to pick a design for the tower in 2002.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was founded in Chicago in the year 1936 and has since become one of the most renowned architectural companies in the world. They have been involved in dozens of tall skyscrapers and multiple other fascinating buildings.
This includes but is not limited to the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower in Chicago, and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, still the tallest building in the world today!
5. It took just over 7 years to complete the entire structure
One of the most peculiar facts about One World Trade Center is that even though the cornerstone was laid on July 4, 2004, construction of the tower didn’t start until nearly 2 years later due to various disputes arising related to money, security, and design.
The construction officially started on April 27, 2006, and the building finally became the tallest building in New York City on April 30, 2012, when it surpassed the Empire State Building.
Remarkably, this Art Deco skyscraper still held this record back then since 1931 with a height of 1,454 feet (443.2 meters)!
One World Trade Center finally topped out on May 10, 2013, when the spire was put into position. This marked the end of the construction period which lasted just over 7 years.
The tower opened its doors on November 3, 2014.
6. It was the most expensive building in the world upon completion
So how much did it cost to build One World Trade Center?
An initial estimate made in February 2007 assumed the tower would eventually cost about USD 3 billion, the equivalent of $1,150 per square foot ($12,380 per square meter).
By April 2012, the cost had increased to USD 3.9 billion, which made it the most expensive building in the world at the time.
The majority of the budget money came from insurance money from the destroyed Twin Towers ($1 billion), the State of New York ($250 million), and the Port Authority ($1 billion), which sold bonds and raised bridge and tunnel tolls with up to 56%.
7. The tower features a 3-story observation deck
Even though there are only 94 floors inside the tower, the top floor is marked as floor 104. 3 of these top floors, 100, 101, and 102, are home to an observation deck that opened its doors on May 29, 2015.
One of the so-called “sky-pods” brings you to these observation decks in about 60 seconds. Here you can get one of the best views of New York City and also learn about the history of the New York skyline starting all the way from the year 1600!
The observation deck is the highest in the United States as well and is visited by millions of people every year!
8. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum are located just south of the tower
Visiting the observation deck to get amazing views of New York City and its surroundings is a fascinating experience. At the foot of the towers, just to the south, you can take some time to reflect on the tragic events that happened on 9/11/2001.
The area where the Twin Towers used to stand is now transformed into a memorial dedicated to remembering the 2,977 people who lost their lives in 2001, as well as the 6 people who died during a bombing in 1993.
The memorial also features an adjoined museum which is operated by a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the memories of these events.