On Monday, November 3, the One World Trade Center skyscraper officially opened for business, just over 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the original Twin Towers.
“Today, as we open its doors for the first time, we remember that strength and courage will always conquer weakness and cowardice, and that the American spirit, defended by proud New Yorkers, will not be defeated,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement Monday.
The 104 story tower stretches 1,776 feet high and is built on a 16 acre site. One World Trade Center is the leading building for the new World Trade complex, which will include six new skyscrapers, a transportation hub, and a memorial display.
“The New York City skyline is whole again,” said Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Two memorial fountains are built on the footprints of the original towers to commemorate the 2700 lives lost during the attack. They are visible from the Northeast corner of the tower.
Construction began in April of 2006 despite controversial political, financial and legal infighting that threatened to derail the project.
Foye promises that One World Trade Center is “the most secure office building in America.”
Architects took extra measures by working with the New York Fire Department, police forces, and worldwide construction corporations to ensure the building is safe from potential future acts of terrorism.
“The city and the world were watching us, and we had to do it right, to do it better than before,” said chief architect, T.J. Gottesdiener. “And we did it, we finally did it.”
Gottesdiener explained that the high-rise was built with steel-reinforced concrete, which is much stronger than the original towers. The stairways are built with a hardened concrete core and are wide enough to allow firefighters to move as people exit. The building’s mechanical systems are also encased in hardened concrete.
“One World Trade Center serves as a symbol of the resilience of the people of New York. That lesson and example live on today as powerful as they were 13 years ago. This is a tremendous day for all New Yorkers, proving once again that the spirit of resurgence and community lives on stronger than ever before,” said Cuomo.