June 2013

One World Trade Center Gets Its Spire

One World Trade CenterOne World Trade Center

One World Trade Center
People looked up to see the latest construction on the One World Trade Center building in New York City.

Construction workers and spectators cheered on May 10 when a big silver spire was raised to the top of One World Trade Center in New York City. The building is now at its full height, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in the world.

This new building is on the site where the Twin Towers once stood before a terrorist attack destroyed them on September 11, 2001. New York City leaders want One World Trade Center to be a symbol of hope and strength for the city and nation. The building is 1,776 feet high as a reminder of the year 1776 when the United States declared its independence.

The spire is no lightweight. It weighs 758 tons and is 408 feet long. It will work as an antenna for a television broadcast center in the building. Several months from now, a LED-powered light at its tip will be turned on. The light changes colors and will be seen as far as 10 miles away.

Everything about One World Trade Center is big. It is built of 48,000 tons of structural steel, the same amount of steel used to build 22,500 full-size automobiles. A million square feet of glass give the outside of the building its bright surface. Nine escalators and 70 elevators will take workers to their offices on 104 floors.

When the Tower opens in 2014, visitors can go to the observatory 1,250 feet in the air for amazing views of New York City and surrounding areas. Some of the fastest elevators in the world will take them to the top floor in 60 seconds. These “Skypod” elevators will give riders a virtual experience of being outside the building. Visitors may have to stand in line to get on them, however. One World Trade Center expects several million tourists a year!

Image credit: ©Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Related Link

  • World Trade Center
    See photographs, videos, and a live camera feed of the construction progress at One World Trade Center.
Question 1
How tall is One World Trade Center?

Question 2
What will the spire on One World Trade Center be used for?

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