Interesting facts about One World Trade Center

one world trade center

One World Trade Center also known as the Freedom Tower is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

The supertall structure has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center, which was completely destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

One World Trade Center recaptures the New York skyline, reasserts downtown Manhattan’s preeminence as a business center, and establishes a new civic icon for the country.

The building’s architect was David Childs, whose firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) also designed the Burj Khalifa and the Willis Tower.

The symbolic cornerstone of One World Trade Center was laid in a ceremony on July 4, 2004. However, the construction of the new building began on April 27, 2006 and was completed in July 2013.

The building opened on November 3, 2014.

At 541 meters (1,776 feet), One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world.


Its height in feet (1776) is a deliberate reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed.

The height of One World Trade Center is 417 meters (1,368 feet), the same as the original Twin Towers, but the addition of the antenna spire adds 124 meters (408 feet), giving the total height as 541 meters (1,776 feet).

The building is 104 standard floors high, but the tower has only 94 actual stories.


The building occupies a 61-meter (200-foot) square, with an area of 3,700 square meters (40,000 square feet), nearly identical to the footprints of the original Twin Towers.

As the tower rises from a cubic base, its edges are chamfered back, resulting in a faceted form composed of eight elongated isosceles triangles.

Near its middle, the tower forms a perfect octagon, and then culminates in a glass parapet, whose shape is a square oriented 45 degrees from the base.

Its overall effect is that of a crystalline form that captures an ever-evolving display of refracted light. As the sun moves through the sky or pedestrians move around the tower, the surfaces appear like a kaleidoscope, and change throughout the day as light and weather conditions change.


The building has a total floor space of 325,279 square meters (3,501,274 square feet).

The base consists of floors 1–19, including a 20-meter-high (65-foot) public lobby [photo below]. The office floors begin at floor 20, and go up to floor 63. There is a sky lobby on floor 64; office floors resume on floor 65, and stop at floor 90. Floors 91–99 and 103–104 are mechanical floors.

one world trade center lobby

It has 71 elevators, five of which are express elevators with a top speed of more than 36.5 kilometers (22.5 miles) per hour.

On May 29, 2015 the One World Observatory opens in three upper floors of the tower. The complex loops around 360 degrees, with views of New York and New Jersey from about 380 meters (1,250 feet) up in the air.

one world trade center observatory

The One World Observatory complex features three restaurants, an exhibit called Voices about the construction of One World Trade Center and a circular platform area called the Sky Portal with a live video feed of ground level street scenes.

The tower’s total estimated construction cost is US$3.9 billion.

One World Trade Center is principally owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Around 5% equity of the building was sold to the Durst Organization, a private real estate company, in exchange for an investment of at least $100 million.


The tower is one of the country’s safest buildings with a center core surrounded by concrete. The core holds stairwells, elevators, gas and water lines, communication systems and an emergency lift for fire fighters. Emergency items, such as water, generators and ventilators are also be kept in the center core.

Like other buildings in the new World Trade Center complex, One World Trade Center includes sustainable architecture features. Much of the building’s structure and interior is built from recycled materials, including gypsum boards and ceiling tiles; around 80% of the tower’s waste products are recycled.

The building achieved its LEED Gold Core and Shell certification thanks to a number of advanced energy- and water-saving technologies including elevators that produce energy through regenerative braking, low-energy equipment such as variable-speed fans and pumps, low-E glass coating that reduces heat gain, and a high-tech building management system that optimizes energy use and indoor air quality.

Four people — three male parachutists (one of whom was a construction worker at the site) and their lookout — were arrested for a BASE jump they conducted on September 30, 2013. They had posted a video of the jump online.

On November 12, 2014 emergency workers rescue two window washers outside the 68th floor of the building after a cable comes loose from their suspended platform. The crews cut through thick glass to get the men off the damaged platform.