By Glynn Cosker
Editor, In Homeland Security
Thirteen years removed from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, 1 World Trade Center opened for business Monday. The 1,776-foot skyscraper is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and took eight years to complete—a time period rife with political, legal and financial infighting.
The 104-storey building dominates the Manhattan skyline as the centerpiece of a site where the original twin towers stood. The site also features a memorial for the more than 2,700 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a fitting addition to New York and a towering defiant wave to the terrorists who destroyed the original building.
“The New York City skyline is whole again, as 1 World Trade Center takes its place in Lower Manhattan,” stated Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owners of the World Trade Center site.
The building is approximately 60 percent leased. Publishing mega-company Conde Nast leased around 1.2 million square feet, comprising floors 20 through 44. Close to 200 of their employees moved in Monday—making them the very first tenants to experience a full day of work since the day before 9/11.
The new building is much stronger than the original towers that opened in 1974. Architectural company TJ Gottesdiener of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill state that they took extreme care to strengthen the skyscraper’s structure.
An observation deck situated at the top of the building will open in early 2015, giving the general public an opportunity to once again see for miles from the tallest building in the United States.