World Trade Center Back on Top

The iconic building, brought down more than a decade ago is once again the tallest building in New York city, passing up the empire state building, and is on its way to becoming the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the third tallest in the world.

By the end of the day workers will have placed columns on the unfinished frame that will bring the building to a little over 1,250 feet, the height of the empire state building. The building will stand a symbolic 1,776 feet when finished. It isn’t expected to reach its full height for at least another year.

If you don’t count the 408-foot spire that sits on top of the building it is still shorter than the 108 story Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) in Chicago. However, the building’s archtech states that because the spire is an architectural element (placed for its symbolic height) it should be counted as part of the building, whereas an antenna’s only purpose is to distribute radio waves.

Disputes of money, security and design have plagued the building. A symbolic cornerstone was laid on July 4, 2004 however almost no construction took place until 2006. In January 2012 it was estimated that the building would cost a total of 3.8 billion dollars.

The tower is on time and set to open in late 2013 or early 2014.