Today in History: One World Trade Center Officially Opens

Today in History: One World Trade Center Officially Opens

M.C. Millman

The One World Trade Center officially opened on November 3, 2014, in New York City, built on the site of the Twin Towers destroyed during the September 11 attacks.

The iconic landmark, also known as the Freedom Tower, is 104 stories and 1,776 feet high, making it the tallest building in the United States. According to Gottesman Libraries, the building's height correlates to the Declaration of Independence, approved in 1776 by the United States Continental Congress. 

The One World Trade Center's cubic base has a footprint identical to the original Twin Towers. Construction began on April 27, 2006, and took eight years to complete. 

Surrounded by memorial gardens, the building consists of a glass tower of 8 isosceles triangles forming a perfect octagon in the center. Designed by David Childs, an architect at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, it has 3 million rentable square feet of space, a 55-foot high office lobby, and life-safety systems that far exceed NYC building code. 

The One World Observatory is at the top of the One World Trade Center on the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors, encompassing over 125,000 square feet. Visitors take Sky Pod elevators to the top, which climb 102 stories in 47 seconds. The observatory offers 360-degree views of NYC's iconic sights, skyline, and waters up to 45 miles in all directions. 

The final complex at Ground Zero has four other towers: 2 World Trade Center, designed by Norman Foster (which has yet to be completed); 3 World Trade Center, designed by Richard Rogers; 4 World Trade Center, designed by Fumihiko Maki; and 7 World Trade Center, designed by David Childs. The complex also contains the September 11 Memorial & Museum, the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, and a transportation hub.

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