The observatory at One World Trade Center will be opening to the public next month, and visitors will be able to enjoy elevator rides with a 360-degree view of New York City at 23 miles per hour.
However, there are no windows in these elevators, but a CGI time-lapse of the city’s skyline over the past 515 years.
Like the length of the video, the five elevators that travel to the observatory offer a 47-second ride. And with walls lined with large high-definition monitors made to look like windows, visitors can watch as a seemingly three-dimensional time-lapse panorama of Manhattan is unfolding before them.
The surreal ride begins in the year 1500, when the elevator rises from the rocks of a non-existent Manhattan. Here, you are able to bear witness to the birth of New York as you know it today – from a small fishing village and the emergence of colonists’ homes, to expanding docks and the now familiar towers marking the skyline.
There’s even an unsettling glimpse of the original World Trade Center, before it once again disappears from sight.
[Image via New York Times]