World Trade Center

NEW YORK — One World Trade Center, the giant monolith being built to replace the twin towers destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, will lay claim to the title of New York City’s tallest skyscraper on Monday.

Workers will erect steel columns that will make its unfinished skeleton a little over 1,250 feet high, just enough to peak over the roof of the observation deck on the Empire State Building.

The milestone is a preliminary one. Workers are still adding floors to the so-called “Freedom Tower” and it isn’t expected to reach its full height for at least another year, at which point it is likely to be declared the tallest building in the U.S., and third tallest in the world.

Those bragging rights, though, will carry an asterisk.

Crowning the world’s tallest buildings is a little like picking the heavyweight champion in boxing. There is often disagreement about who deserves the belt.

In this case, the issue involves the 408-foot-tall needle that will sit on the tower’s roof.

Count it, and the World Trade Center is back on top. Otherwise, it will have to settle for No. 2, after the Willis Tower in Chicago.

Printed on Monday, April 30, 2012 as: One World Trade Center tower now tallest again by technicality

NEW YORK — The new World Trade Center has reached a milestone: The skyscraper being built to replace the terror-wrecked twin towers is now 100 stories high — on its way to becoming New York’s tallest building.

Another four feet, and it will surpass the Empire State Building. That should happen within weeks, Steven Coleman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday.

One World Trade Center is expected to be finished by next year, its 104 floors towering over lower Manhattan.

But feet not stories determine whether a building ranks as the tallest. The twin towers, built in the 1970s, were New York’s tallest structures until destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

The Empire State Building then became the city’s tallest building at 1,250 feet.

At 101 floors, One World Trade will reach 1,254 feet above street level. Upon completion, it will be 1,368 feet to its rooftop.

There’s a special twist when it comes to counting floors.

One World Trade grew from 93 stories to 100 just since last week. That’s because six floors don’t actually exist; the numbers were skipped to make up for the building’s massive base, plus mechanical equipment taking up space.

Conde Nast has signed a lease to move in by 2014, along with the China Center representing that country’s business and cultural links to the United States.

With a mirror-like glass surface, One World Trade stands tall above the 16-acre site where other new buildings also are rising. The rebuilt site includes the National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorating the acts of terror that took almost 3,000 lives in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa.

Publsihed on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 as: One World Trade Center rises to taller than before at 100 stories

Developer Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties looks out from his office tower, 7 World Trade Center, at the ongoing construction of the World Trade Center site in New York on July 19, 2011.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center, an 80-story glass and steel tower is rising like a phoenix from the ashes of ground zero.

The site called a “hole in the ground” for years has cranes in the air, trains running underground and hundreds of trees planted around giant, man-made waterfalls to remember the dead of Sept. 11.

And the surrounding neighborhood — no longer just a financial district — is bursting with young families, new schools, a Whole Foods and a Barnes & Noble.

“I’m kind of proud because I was here two weeks after 9/11 and this was a dust pit,” said Larry Brancato, 59, of Wallingford, Conn., walking by ground zero. “It just shows that Americans have always had a can-do attitude.”

After years of inertia, and prolonged disputes between government agencies, insurer and a developer who had just taken out a 99-year lease on the towers when they were toppled, the development of the trade center is substantial, and the tallest tower can now be seen for miles.

“People can begin to see that this is no longer a hole in the middle of New York, but a real place is emerging,” said architect Daniel Libeskind, whose master plan serves as a blueprint for the site.

A memorial featuring waterfalls cascading into the footprints of the twin towers will open to the public on Sept. 12, a day after families see their loved ones’ names around the pools for the first time. The skyscraper formerly known as the Freedom Tower is growing by a story a week and now stands 1,000 feet above the skyline as the tallest building in lower Manhattan.

Larry Silverstein, the developer who signed a lease on the twin towers on July 24, 2001, pushed to rebuild the 10 million square feet of office space he had lost. Civic groups pushed for a more neighborhood-friendly design than two monoliths on a concrete plaza.

Libeskind, who won a competition to become the site’s master planner, focused on the Freedom Tower, with an asymmetrical spire soared to the symbolic height of 1,776 feet and echoed the Statue of Liberty across the harbor. Tensions were inevitable between Libeskind’s artistic vision and Silverstein’s desire for buildings that would draw tenants.

1 World Trade hardly resembles Libeskind’s early drawings, but he called it “an impressive building.”

Designed by David Childs, its tapering form is symmetrical but retains the spire and the 1,776 feet.

Printed on Friday, September 2, 2011 as: A new World Trade Center tower rises.