A new World Trade Center tower is officially opening, 12 years after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
At this time 12 years ago, New York City and the whole country was still mourning the loss of life and destruction caused by the terrorist attacks.
Now a new chapter begins for lower Manhattan with the opening of the brand new 4 World Trade Center tower, a smaller version of One World Trade Center.
The skyscraper, formerly known as Freedom Tower, is the main building at the new World Trade Center complex being built after the Twin Towers were brought down by terrorist on 9/11.
On 11/12/13, One World Trade Center was named the tallest building in the US, edging the Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) in Chicago by a hair. The tower is also the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.
It stands at a symbolic 1,776 feet, in reference to the year in which the US declared independence from Britain and stands in place of the original 6 World Trade Center.
Construction on the tower began on April 27, 2006 after years of debate regarding what should be done with the site that saw so much terror and where 2,700 perople were killed in 2001.
On March 30, 2009 the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the official name for the new tower would be One World Trade Center, rather than Freedom Tower.
The last steel beam was placed on top of One World Trade Center on August 30, 2012 and on May 10, 2013 the final piece to the tower’s spire was placed, making this the tallest building in the US.
“The world is recognizing that we’ve moved from 12 years of controversy and construction to having a real place that is coming back to life as a part of New York City,” Janno Lieber, who oversees planning, design and rebuilding for Silverstein Properties, the site owner, said.
The skyscraper cost about $2 billion to build, including land lease costs, and was financed with $1.2 billion of tax-free Liberty Bonds and insurance proceeds, according to Reuters.
Additionally to the office space, a 9/11 museum will open at the site next year, in honor of the victims of the terrorist attacks.
A transportation hub, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is also scheduled to open in 2015.
The final plans include two more office towers for a total of 550,000 square feet of space and a performing arts center will add the final touch to make the new World Trade Center complex a truly fitting memorial for all those who perished on September 11, 2001.
[Image via Nic Taylor]