Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
Move over Empire State Building, there's a new "tallest building" in the city. On Monday afternoon, 1 World Trade Center took the title when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building.
The first steel column of the 100th floor was placed on top of the skeletal framework of the building, making it slightly higher than the 1,250-foot Empire State Building at 1,271 feet. One World Trade Center will stand at 1,776 feet when it's completed.
Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, celebrated the milestone by thanking all those involved, as well as the stakeholders, who over 10 years ago, worked to see a landmark building rise on the site of the 9/11 attack in the city.
“Today, our collective perseverance is reflected with this soaring symbol of fortitude, of rebirth, and renewal and determination and good old American ingenuity and hard work,” he said. Foye also noted that the building, which is expected to be completed in early 2014, is 55 percent leased. He said it was an achievement, especially given the current market.
Construction worker Pat Morairty, 40, from Long Island, said he’s proud to be working on the site, and is glad his fellow workers hit the 100th floor milestone.
“It took a long time, we finally hit it, so it’s a proud moment for New Yorkers and definitely for the construction industry,” he said, standing on Liberty Street near the site.
Morairty’s worked construction for 23 years and is now working on the transit hub.
He said work is “slow and steady,” and that he’ll celebrate when the World Trade Center tops off, which is expected this summer.
Outside the construction site, the line for the 9/11 Memorial stretched down the block on Monday.
Shannon Vine, 24, from Queens came to the site with her niece and friend. It was the first time she visited the site of the former World Trade Center since September 11, 2001. Looking up at the gleaming glass, she said it was “definitely an amazing building, and it will be for a long time.”