New tower in New York claims record as tallest

One World Trade Center, the skyscraper being built in Lower Manhattan to replace the World Trade Center twin towers destroyed by terrorists in 2001, is now the tallest structure in New York City.

Monday workers erected a steel column on One World Trade Center that poked through the sky at 381 meters, slightly higher than the Empire State Building, which has dominated the New York skyline since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

For several years after the rubble of the twin towers was removed, the area was an empty hole in the ground as government officials and private developers debated reconstruction plans. But since a compromise was reached, the new building, often called Freedom Tower, has been rising an average of about one floor per week toward its goal of 104 stories.

With the collapse of the twin towers, the Empire State Building reclaimed the title as the city’s tallest building. It was the world’s tallest structure for more than 40 years after its construction in 1931.

A car dealer from Atlanta, Georgia, Brad Hanson, says he likes the rivalry between New York’s two major skyscraper districts – downtown and midtown.

“It is good to see downtown get the skyscraper back,” he said. “The whole landscape of the area has changed since the towers went down, but now it is back. I think it is cool.”

One World Trade Center will also be North America’s tallest building at 541 meters. That translates to 1,776 feet, a number specifically chosen to coincide with the year the United States declared its independence from Britain.

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