One World Trade Center

1 World Trade Center , New York

Image courtesy of Courtesy RenewNYC and SOM



World Trade Center


1 World Trade Center , New York, United States 10048

Bordering Streets

West Street
Vesey Street
Church Street
Liberty Street


Lower Manhattan

Fast Facts

Also Known As

The Freedom Tower



Maximum Height

1,776 feet / 541 meters



By C.B. Morley

A new icon is under construction in Lower Manhattan. At the site of the worst attack against our nation, a new tower is being raised like a phoenix from the ashes. The new One World Trade Center looks to redefine the New York skyline and establish a new architectural icon for the country.

Designed by architect David Childs, of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, One World Trade Center looks to incorporate new architectural and environmental standards, creating one of the safest and greenest structures ever built. In addition, it seeks to regain the throne as New York City's tallest skyscraper with its antenna tower rising to 1,776 feet.

Overall, One World Trade Center's plan calls for 2.6 million square feet of office space on 69 office floors, a public lobby with a 50-foot ceilings, an observation deck 1,265 feet above ground, two skyline restaurants, and a wide array of shopping.

The ultra-modern design of 1WTC is an innovative mix of architecture, structure, safety and sustainability. The building timeless design makes use of simplicity and clarity of form and is designed around a redundant steel moment frame. Paired with a concrete-core shear wall, the moment frame lends substantial rigidity and redundancy to the overall building structure. It also incorporates highly advanced safety systems that exceed the requirements of the New York City Building Code, paving the way in developing new high-rise building standards.

One of the aims of the project is to reduce the environmental impact of its construction. Through collaborations with worldwide technology and energy leaders, One World Trade Center's design team used the latest methods to maximize efficiency, minimize waste and pollution, conserve water, and improve air quality at its site. The team even went so far as making use of the next generation of modern energy sources -- co-generation and fuel cells -- as well as off-site renewable wind and hydro power.

One World Trade Center will also serve as a mass transit hub. Climate-controlled corridors will connect the tower to The World Trade Center Transportation Hub and the new PATH terminal, 13 NYC Transit subway lines, the new Fulton Street Transit Center, the World Financial Center and ferry terminal, and underground parking. Plans for the entire World Trade Center site include four additional skyscrapers, a performing arts center, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center.

Raw Data

Construction Start


Construction End




By The Numbers

• Floor space: 2,600,000 square feet.
• Height to roof: 1,368 feet -- The same as to the roof of the old 1 World Trade Center.
• Height to tip of spire: 1,776 feet - The same as the year of the nation's declaration of independence.
• The glass prisms at the base will each be 13-feet tall.
• The base of the tower will be 186-feet tall.
• The base of the tower will be 200-feet by 200-feet.
• The top of the tower will be 145-feet by 145-feet.
• The shaft of the tower will be 1,182 feet tall.
• The main structure will be topped by a 408-foot-tall mast containing antennae. The base of the mast will be surrounded by a 145-foot wide ring containing more equipment.

Size[Explanation ♐]

Maximum Height: 1,776 feet / 541 meters
Roof Height: 1,368 feet / 417 meters

Floors[Explanation ♐]

104 stories claimed
82 actual stories above grade
3 below grade

NOTE: This building contains a number of imaginary and symbolic floors. Actual floor count differs from how the floors are labeled.

Stacking Diagram


Noteworthy Facts

• Sculptor Kenneth Snelson is working on the spire at the top of the building.
• The trees surrounding the Freedom Tower will be sweetgum trees.
• The building was originally supposed to have corner cutaways, reminiscent of the Twin Towers chamfered corners. These were built, but covered up later.
• The building podium was originally supposed to be covered with prismatic glass panels. During construction these were replaced with hundreds of 13-foot-tall glass fins because the Chinese factory chosen to make the glass panels could not get them right.

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• May 29, 2003: The New York Times reported that the Metropolitan Television Alliance signed a deal to put as many as 22 antennae on top of Freedom Tower. The World Trade Center was home to many of New York's television and radio transmitters until the attacks of September 11, 2001. The report indicates that One World Trade Center will be the new home to the majority of the television channels in the New York market.
• July 17, 2003: Architect David Childs was chosen to design the Freedom Tower.
• July 4, 2004: Groundbreaking. A 20-ton granite slab was used as the cornerstone of the project. It is inscribed with the words "To honor and remember those who lost theirlives on September 11, 2001 and as a tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom. - July Fourth, 2004."
• November 9, 2004: An architecture student sued the designers of the Freedom Tower. He claimed the building was copied from his design for a skyscraper intended to be part of New York's 2012 Olympic bid.
• December 16, 2004: The World Trade Center victims memorial was revised. The new plan included a Memorial Hall between the reflecting pools that would mark the footprints of the former World Trade Center. It will also included a grove of oak trees with a clearing for memorial services, and public access to the stumps of the columns that once held the Twin Towers aloft. The memorial was expected to cost half a million dollars and be completed by 2009.
• May 3, 2005: U.S. Senator Charles Schumer warned that the Freedom Tower project was in jeopardy. He noted that the steel had yet to be ordered, and claimed that critics are being given too much attention, preventing the start of real construction. At the same time, the New York Times reported that Kevin M. Rampe quit as project leader.
• June 29, 2005: Amid much criticism from celebrity real estate moguls and the general public, a new design was released for the Freedom Tower.
• April 27, 2006: 21 months after the cornerstone was laid, it was announced that construction formally began on the Freedom Tower. The work was delayed because of disputes between the developer, Larry Silverstein, and the land owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The New York Times noted, however, that work actually began quietly a few weeks earlier while the two sides were still hammering out the details. Those details included a total of five buildings to be erected on the site of the World Trade Center, all to be completed by 2011. Mr. Silverstein gave up control of the Freedom tower to the Port Authority in exchange for control of more lucrative property in the complex. He also agreed to pay higher rent.
• June 27, 2006: The design of the Freedom Tower was revised once again. The 186-foot-tall podium upon which the tower rests will now be covered by a screen of glass prisms, hiding the concrete base that had been criticized for being too brutalist.
• June 28, 2006: The New York Times reported that the Freedom Tower would have a sky lobby on the 64th floor. This is a controversial move because so many people died in the 78th-floor sky lobby waiting for elevators when 2 World Trade Center collapsed. The sky lobby in the Freedom Tower was necessitated by the June, 2005 design revision which decreased the building's footprint and restricted the amount of space available for elevator shafts.
• April 18, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI blessed the ground where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood.
• April 18, 2008: WINS radio reported that a homeless man found two sets of confidential blueprints for the Freedom Tower in a trash can. He turned them over to the New York Post.
• May 17, 2008: Structural elements of One World Trade Center started climbing above street level.
• June 30, 2008: The Wall Street Journal reported that reconstruction of the World Trade Center could take 1-3 years longer than expected and cost an extra $1-$3 billion.
• July 24, 2008: Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church agreed to sell its property next to the World Trade Center to the Port Authority for $20 million. The sale will give construction crews more space to work in and help speed construction of One World Trade Center and other parts of the World Trade Center. The church building was destroyed in the terrorist attacks.
• October, 2008: A report from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey indicated a revised completion date of 2013.
• January 14, 2009: NY1 reported that the foundation of this building was completed.
• March 25, 2009: The Beijing Vantone Industrial Company became the first company to lease space in this building. It signed a 23-year lease for floors 64 through 69.
• March 27, 2009: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey came under fire for eliminating the name "Freedom Tower" and only use this building's mailing address of 1 World Trade Center as its name. Later, some would speculate that this was a concession to the Chinese group that leased space in the building. Speaking on the radio, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, " If they could rent the whole thing by changing the name, I guess they're going to do that."
• August 4, 2009: The New York Daily News reported that the completion date of this building was pushed back to 2018.
• November 18, 2009: Construction of this building reached the fourth floor.
• February 3, 2010: Construction reached the 20th floor.
• November 14, 2010: The first panels of the building's exterior glass and steel cladding were added.
• December 23, 2010: Construction reached the 52nd floor.
• April, 2012: Construction reached the 100th floor.
• April 30, 2012: This building reached 1,250 feet, making it the tallest building in the city of New York.

Building Green

• The building will be partially powered by 12 hydrogen fuel cells. They are expected to generate 4.8 megawatts of power for the Freedom Tower and other buildings in the World Trade Center.

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