World Trade Center becomes highest NY tower
US: New York's skyline got a new king Tuesday after the still
unfinished World Trade Center tower, built to replace the destroyed Twin
Towers, crept above the venerable Empire State Building.
Workers gently maneuvered a steel column into its base atop the
skyscraper's skeletal current top, bringing the total height just beyond
the 1,250 feet (381 meters) of the Empire State Building's observation
Coming on the eve of the anniversary of the killing by US forces of
Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the al-Qaeda attack that demolished the
former World Trade Center, the moment was marked by a celebration of
technical prowess and flag-waving patriotism.
Scott Rechler, vice chairman at the Port Authority, which owns the
site, told a press conference that the “the most complex construction
project in our history” had been “an act of passion and an act of
patriotic duty.” One World Trade Center, already a gleaming, angular
landmark on the city's skyline, will get still taller as construction
winds up late next year, finally reaching 1,776 feet (541.3 meters) and
104 floors. Not only will that dwarf the 1930s masterpiece of the Empire
State Building, but it will be higher than the old Twin Towers, which
both collapsed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, in which
almost 3,000 people died.
Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye joked the building was
so tall that “if you really crane your neck, you can see Alaska” and
that, once completed, “Asia may come into view.” Although the mammoth
construction work to resurrect the Ground Zero area is at last nearing
fruition, the project has been plagued by billions of dollars in cost
overruns, as well as delays, bickering over designs, and worries over
whether the office space will be profitable.