World Trade Center Reopens as Tallest Building in Western Hemisphere

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Thirteen years after the Twin Towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, the new centerpiece skyscraper at the World Trade Center opens on Nov. 3, 2014, when the first tenant, Conde Nast, moves in. The publisher moves its 3,400 staffers into the 24 stories it is occupying, from floor 20 through 44.

There are several buildings at the site. But the centerpiece is the One World Trade Center, a skyscraper that is 104 stories and 1,776 feet tall, a height that represents the year of United States independence. This includes the 408 foot spire atop the 1,368 foot tower.

1 WTC is the tallest building in the country and the western hemisphere, which has 3.5 million square feet of space, including offices, parking and an observatory, scheduled to open next spring.

It’s taller than the original Twin Towers, which were 1,727 feet with the antenna, or 1,362 without.

One World Trade Center cost $3.9 billion to build. The planning and construction were complicated by fighting among developers, realtors and insurers.

The problems and battles that preceded today are going to fade into the background, according to the building’s boosters, as 1 WTC takes its place in the fabric of New York.

The new 1 WTC tower and the 16-acre site it anchors are owned by the Port Authority, a massive government agency controlled by the governors of New York and New Jersey.

“There’s so many people who have done so much to bring it where it is,” said Dave Checketts, the CEO of Legends, the company operating the observatory on floors 100-102, told ABC News Anchor Dan Harris. “I give them all a lot of credit for staying with the fight because the finished product is going to be something inspirational to people and comforting.”

Checketts said there’s just one message in the reality that the new skyscraper is built and reclaiming its place near the southern tip of the New York skyline.

“It’s a brute fact. We did come back,” Checketts said looking out from near the tower’s top. “We brought it back; we built it even higher than it was before.”

Source: CNN Money, ABC News

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