Construction on One World Trade Center

1 World Trade Center (Freedom Tower)

Photo: Silverstein Properties

On the eve of the twelve-year anniversary of the World Trade Center attack on September 11th, 2001, the horrific events are still embedded into our minds, forever a reminder of the carnage left behind by the senseless terrorist attacks. One shining reminder of the American spirit, perseverance and ability to overcome even the most tragic events is the newly constructed One World Trade Center (formally known as “Freedom Tower”). 1 WTC is a beacon of hope to the people of New York City and the rest of the nation as a message to the rest of the world that we will overcome.

Building Construction on 1 World Trade Center


The 104-story super skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the World Trade Center site, occupying the original location of the original 6 World Trade Center building. Building construction began on April 27, 2006 to build the below-ground utility relocations, footings, and new foundations of the building. From the base of the building to the top of its spire, it reaches 1,776 feet – which is of course in reference to the United States Declaration of Independence – making One World Trade Center the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth tallest building in the world.


A symbolic cornerstone was laid in a ceremony on July 4th, 2004, but further construction work was stalled until 2006 due to disputes over security, money, and design of the new buildings. In April of 2006, a deal was finally negotiated between the building developer, Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. On December 17th, 2006, a ceremony was held at Battery Park City, during which members of the public were invited to sign a 30-foot steel beam. The beam was welded onto the building’s base two days later.

One World Trade Center - Signed Beam by the President


Building Design Evolution of Freedom Tower (1 World Trade Center)


The building developers of this epic construction feat chose Daniel Libeskind as their building architect. Libeskind is a world-renowned architect with building projects all over the globe.

World Trade Center Construction Workers


Like the other buildings of the rebuilt WTC complex, One World Trade Center includes a vast number of sustainable architecture and design features. Much of the building’s structural components are made from post-industrial recycled materials. Additionally, 80-percent of its waste products are recycled. The building plans to implement a rooftop rainwater collection and recycling system for its cooling systems with the building’s PureCell phosphoric acid fuel cells generating 4.8 million watts of power using waste steam to generate electricity. The New York Power Authority chose UTC Power to provide the tower’s fuel cell system, which will make 1 WTC one of the largest installations of fuel cells in the world. The building is intending to also make use of off-site hydroelectric and wind power for its facility needs.

The ultra-clear glass windows allows for maximum daylight to pass through. The building architects coupled that with adding interior lighting that automatically dims on sunny days to reduce energy costs. For its efforts in sustainable building construction, One World Trade Center is expected to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, making it one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings of its size in the world.

Building Construction on 1 World Trade Center

Photo: Joe Woolhead


The most expensive building in the world at the time of construction, One World Trade Center’s estimated cost for completion on April of 2012 was $3.9 billion. The original construction estimate was $3 billion, with $1 billion coming from insurance money recouped by Silverstein in connection with the September 11th attacks, $250 million from the State of New York, and $1 billion from the Port Authority through the sale of bonds. In order to help pay for the building construction, a series of bridge and tunnel toll hikes were also implemented by Port Authority, with 56-percent toll increase between 2011 and 2015 (however the proceeds from these toll hikes are not used to pay for construction costs).


1 WTC will also feature three other high-rise office buildings, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as part of the effort to memorialize and rebuild following the destruction of the original World Trade Center buildings on 9/11.

World Trade Center (Twin Towers)

For generations to come, One World Trade Center will remain a constant reminder of the ability of Americans to overcome destruction on such a large scale. Every year, thousands of visitors come to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on 9/11. This building will continue to stand tall in the face of terror to let the world know we will not waver.

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