One World Trade Center Spire Hoisted To Cap Tallest Building In New York: See Spire Rise 1,776 Feet [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on May 2, 2013 4:22 PM EDT

WTC spire
WTC spire rises to the top of One World Trade Center (Photo: Reuters)

The WTC spire has been hoisted 1,776 feet over New York City, as the tallest building in the western hemisphere, One World Trade Center, installs one of its final pieces. The new skyscraper, also known as the "Freedom Tower," replaces the twin towers that fell on September 11, 2001, an event that marks one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. soil. Located at a prime location in lower Manhattan, One World Trade Center overlooks the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The WTC spire hoist was initially scheduled to happen on Monday. However, high winds complicated the task, causing officials to delay until conditions improved. What's more, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that spire pieces and a steel beacon will also be lifted on a later date.

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A multifunctional spire, the structure will not only feature a beacon on the peak to warn low flying aircraft, the spire will provide broadcasting and transmission services for television and radio stations. Made of glass and a number of alloys, the 408-foot spire features 18 pieces and weighs 800 tons. Built as a joint venture between Quebec engineering firm ADF Group and New York-based DCM Erectors, the spire pieces were made before being shipped from Canada and New Jersey.

Other structures under construction at the site include the 72-story 4 World Trade Center building. Port Authority expects the new World Trade Center area to formally open in 2014.

The WTC spire hoist not only symbolizes the nearing completion of the new One World Trade Center skyscraper, but also reflects a moment to observe and remember the terrifying tragedy that took place more than a decade ago. On September 11, 2001, terrorist organization al-Qaeda hijacked two planes to strike the twin World Trade Center towers. The attack caused the collapse of both buildings, costing the lives of nearly 3,000 victims. An aircraft component derived from one of the airliners that crashed into the tower has recently been discovered wedged between an apartment building and a mosque.

One World Trade Center will replace Chicago's Willis Tower as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The record for the tallest building in the world is retained by Dubai's Burj Khalifa, towering at an incredible 2,700 feet.

Be sure to check out the inspiring time lapse video that records the construction of One World Trade Center below:

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