The last section of the spire atop 1 World Trade Center — the building once officially known, and still often referred to, as the Freedom Tower — was installed last Friday, marking the building’s official height of 1,776 feet, which pays homage to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. The top of the mast was placed just after 8 a.m. Friday morning.
The $3.8 billion skyscraper can be seen from nearly every neighborhood in Queens. It returns the title of the city’s tallest to Lower Manhattan for the first time since 9/11 and stands next to the former site of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, which were destroyed that day by terrorists, killing 2,606 people, including more than 200 from Queens.
Besides being the tallest building in New York City, 1 WTC is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere and the world’s tallest office building. It is the third-tallest building in the world, after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The cornerstone of the building was laid in 2004, even before the final design was agreed to, and construction began in 2006. The structure was topped out in August 2012. It is expected to be occupied by 2014.
Several other skyscrapers are expected to be constructed as part of the new World Trade Center complex, which includes the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which opened in 2011.