Back in 2006 we visited New York for the first time together. As we had both been to New York in 1995 separately many years before meeting, we both noticed how the city had changed in the years since. It now had a warm and welcoming feeling, a more forgiving and understanding tone under the hustle of the daily grind. We fell in love with this city, even more than we thought we had. This was the new post 9/11 New York.
One of the most interesting aspects of our many visits is that we were actually in New York at the time the Freedom Tower (or One World Trade Centre) started construction. This was April 27, 2006.
In 2008 we saw a massive change to the area now referred to as Ground Zero with much construction everywhere. Many of the streets were blocked due to the amount of construction. In 2010 and 2012 we watched as the building started reaching higher and higher. It was then we learned how significant the architectural height of 1776 feet (541m) would be. The spire would add a further 16 feet to make One World Trade Centre the highest building in the western hemisphere and the fifth tallest in the world at 1792 feet (546m).
In 2014, my sixth and my wife’s seventh visit to New York City, we saw that One World Trade Centre had neared completion. We couldn’t have timed our visit any better too as the new memorial had opened the week before.
We were lucky enough that a friend managed to get all of us a once a lifetime opportunity to view One World Trade Centre from the 54th floor of World Trade 4. Just the four of us …and our host.
Once in a lifetime opportunity to view the tower up close.
This was the view that welcomed us as we exited from the lifts. We were stunned that it was an unfurnished floor.
The views were simply stunning. Being in New York so many times before at street level means that you don’t often appreciate it from this perspective. The city is vast, beautiful, surrounded by water and spectacular buildings. These photos are taken through the plate glass windows of the office building and I have done my best to avoid any glare of the sun or reflection of me taking the photos.
It was amazing to get as close to One World Trade Centre as this. It was amazing period – that we had access to an empty floor of World Trade 4. We stood for what seems like forever just taking in the skyline. We could not however shake the sense of vulnerability being so high up, on the same site of those atrocities back in 2001.
Seeing the finished tower below and up close was a magical moment. The world has come a long way. The city has come a long way.