Yesterday the new One World Trade Center became the tallest building in New York City.  It is now taller than the Empire State building.  When completed it will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  I never thought I would be excited about a building but I am.  Over the last 6 years I have traveled into Lower Manhattan a few days each month so I have had the opportunity to see this building “grow”.  I am aware of the sorrow that site holds, the struggles that have surrounded the redevelopment and  the symbolism of the building and to see 1 WTC as the tallest building in NY is amazing. I was thrilled the first time I spotted it from the George Washington Bridge.  I have spotted it from Skyline Drive in Ringwood and the top of the hill in Ramsey.  And every time I see it I am ecstatic. To me it is a symbol that life goes on, things change and a new normal is established and that is hard and bittersweet but worth celebrating. The New York skyline will never look like it did when the Twin Towers graced the skyline but now there is a new skyline – a new normal.

Some interesting facts from the Tribute Center Volunteer Resource Guide –

    • “One World Trade changes shape as it rises as a way to pay homage to the original WTC building. The building keeps the sides flat and tapers the corners in. On the ground floor, it’s a square…at the middle you get an octagon. While seen from the north and south, the silhouette of  1 WTC will resemble the original WTC tower, when seen on a diagonal, it will resemble the Washington Monument, capturing the meaning of the site: remembrance, hope and moving forward.”
    • “With spire, One World Trade will rise to 1,776 feet, the year of US independence.”
    • Completion is slated for the end of 2013
    • First floor of office space is actually the 20th floor. The building is built on a 200 foot by 200 foot bomb proof cube. Building includes some of the largest and most transparent pieces of curtain glass ever used on a building. “It was intentional to respond with the creation of an openly transparent, democratic building.”