From the top of One World Trade Center, the nation’s tallest building, it really does seem as if you can “see forever.” Those two words are the motto of the center’s new observatory that opens May 29, offering spectacular, wraparound views stretching 50 miles past the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty to the Atlantic Ocean, CBS NY reports.
But even when the 1,776-foot building disappears into the clouds, there are still plenty of high-tech videos and multimedia displays that reflect the hope and optimism of a building and a city that rose from the ruins of the nation’s deadliest terror attack.
CBS2’s Dick Brennan got a tour Wednesday from Dave Checketts, chairman and chief executive officer of Legends – which runs the observatory.
“These views from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere are the best part of the show,” Checketts said.
The windows in the observatory are 30 feet tall, he said.
“We’ve added these terrazzo floors and wood paneling inside, but nothing inside to really take away from the view,” Checketts said.
Visitors who enter the observatory encounter a delicate balance of future and past, with only brief references to the twin towers that were slammed by terrorist-hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing more than 2,700 people.
The observatory spans three floors, from the 100th to the102nd, and the world’s fastest elevators will take you there with a virtual history lesson — you watch Manhattan grow before your eyes.
During the lightning-fast, 48-second elevator ride up to the 102nd floor, a three-dimensional, time-lapse panorama shows 515 years of history at the tip of Manhattan, with the twin towers appearing for less than four seconds before dissolving out of view.
And just above the street-level entrance, faces of men and women who toiled to erect the mammoth, gleaming tower appear in a jagged tunnel that replicates the trade center’s bedrock, their recorded voices filled with both pain and pride.
And perhaps the most hair-raising moment of the whole visit is the elevator ride down. LED screens surrounding passengers simulate the flight of a bird or plane high above the site, dipping and soaring around the skyscrapers all the way back to the ground.
Earlier Wednesday, “CBS This Morning” was broadcast live from the new 102nd floor observation deck at One World Trade Center. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and CNN’s Anderson Cooper were among the guests.
“It’s a rebirth; it means that — particularly for downtown — we’re back 100 percent,” de Blasio said. “This building had to be done in a very particular way, and it’s safe and it’s secure and it’s absolutely beautiful.”
The observatory is open to adults for $32, and less for seniors and children — comparable to Empire State Building fees. Tickets may be purchased online for a precise time to avoid overcrowding.
Read more at CBS NEW YORK.