Date:  Apr 30, 2012

Press Release Number:  61


Installation of steel interior columns brings One World Trade Center 1,271 feet above street level

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s One World Trade Center today reclaimed the title of the tallest skyscraper in New York City after surpassing the height of the Empire State Building by 21 feet.

As a handful of Port Authority executives looked on, ironworkers installed two, 26-foot steel interior columns on the top of the skyscraper just after 2 p.m. today, officially making One World Trade Center the tallest structure in New York. The triumphant milestone triggered enthusiastic applause from construction workers, as well as from a small gathering of attendees who watched the event unfold on a closed circuit monitor on the site. Those in attendance included representatives from The Durst Organization, Tishman Construction, Cushman & Wakefield, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, as well as 9/11 family members.

The placement of the columns brings the height of the building to 1,271 feet above street level. When One World Trade Center is completed, it will rise to 1,776 feet to the top of its antenna, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

To get to its present height, construction workers, laboring high above the city through snow, rain and heat, installed 37,000 tons of steel and 190,000 cubic yards of concrete—enough for a four-foot-wide sidewalk from New York to Chicago. The building will contain 1 million square feet of glass facade, enough to cover 20 NFL football fields.

“Today's achievement is just one of many great feats – such as the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel – the Port Authority has delivered in its 91-year history,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “We could not have reached this milestone without the hard work and dedication of the many men and women who tirelessly work to rebuild this monumental site. This project is much more than steel and concrete, it is a symbol of success for the nation.”

“One World Trade Center is not merely the tallest building in New York, but also a symbol for liberty, opportunity and economic prosperity.” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “It has and will continue to serve as a significant generator of jobs and economic activity as the centerpiece of what will be one of the most successful commercial developments in the world. When finished, it will feature a state-of-the-art broadcast facility and a one of a kind observation deck that we believe will be one of the top tourist attractions in New York City.”

“Following years of hard work and numerous challenges, this world-class skyscraper reached an incredible milestone today, taking its place as the crown jewel of New York’s skyline,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “When One World Trade Center opens to the public, it will not only be a place to work, shop and eat, but a place where people will marvel at its amazing rebirth; one that will anchor Lower Manhattan for many generations to come.”

“Achieving the status of the region’s tallest building is an unparalleled milestone, but it is only a small part of the story,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “This tower is about jobs, economic activity and providing a place of commerce and business. It will have unprecedented environmental, energy-efficient systems, be accessible to one of the most extensive transportation networks in the region, and be located in a growing, dynamic neighborhood.”

“Today’s milestone is a testament to the dedication, talent and resolve of everyone who has worked on One World Trade Center,” said Jonathan (Jody) Durst, president of The Durst Organization. “We are proud to be a partner of the Port Authority on this iconic building and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones as we complete, lease and open One World Trade Center.”

“As the builder of the original Twin Towers, everyone at Tishman is excited today for One World Trade Center to claim its rightful place as the highest structure in the New York skyline,” said Daniel R. Tishman, Chairman of Tishman Construction, an AECOM company. “This magnificent building is not only a symbol of the resurgence and resilience of Lower Manhattan and New York City to the world, it’s a demonstration of commitment and leadership by the Port Authority, and the tremendous hard work and dedication of our team, our fellow contractors and the thousands of laborers who show up here every day. I want to thank them all.”

“It is fitting that the World Trade Center once again is the tallest building in Manhattan,” said David M. Childs, the architect who led the design team for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. “Today, Lower Manhattan officially reclaims its place in the skyline and One World Trade Center proudly demonstrates the resilience of America in the wake of 9/11.”

The timing of today’s milestone coincidentally falls on the 91st anniversary of the creation of the Port Authority, which formed in 1921 when the governors of New York and New Jersey received consent from Congress to form the bistate agency.

Following today’s achievement, steel will continue to be erected until the building reaches its 104th floor and “tops out” this summer. When the tower tops off, it will rise to 1,368 feet, 118 feet above the height of the Empire State Building, which is 1,250 feet above street level.

With more than one and a half years remaining before workers complete One World Trade Center, the 3 million square foot tower is already 55 percent leased. The building will serve as the headquarters of Conde Nast, a world-class publisher, which has leased more than 1.2 million square feet covering 25 floors. An additional 190,000 square feet has been leased by Vantone China Center and the federal General Services Administration is in final review of a lease for 300,000 square feet.

One World Trade Center aims to be one of the most sustainable office buildings of its size and achieve LEED Gold certification standards. These standards will result in lower energy expenses, lower operating expenses, access to natural light through floor to ceiling glass windows and highly filtered air.

The Durst Organization, one of the most highly respected developers in the real estate industry, manages One World Trade Center. The Port Authority issued an RFP for an operator to run the iconic Observation Deck at the top of the building and the agency expects to select an operator sometime this summer. The tourist attraction will provide visitors with unrivaled views of New York City, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Hudson and East River waterfronts.

In addition to managing the Observation Deck, Durst will also oversee the construction and operation of a broadcast facility that will service television and radio broadcasters. A 408-foot antenna atop the building will provide an unparalleled resource for the region’s broadcasters.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Lisa MacSpadden / Steve Coleman, 212-435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. This includes John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal