The raising of a final steel beam to the top of the new World Trade Centre has signalled a key milestone in the construction of the new building.
Workers raised their hard hats on Monday as the huge beam was gently lifted by crane into the Manhattan sky and placed on top of 4 World Trade Centre – a US flag attached to the bottom fluttering above several hundred spectators who attended the topping-off ceremony.
“Ten years later, it’s pretty remarkable,” an emotional Sally Rexach is quoted as saying in the Australian Associated Press.
Rexach is a nurse who was at Ground Zero helping those who combed through the smoking debris in search of human remains after the September 11 attacks.
“This is a very proud moment; it’s full circle,” she said as she glanced across the site on which the uncompleted World Trade Centre 1 building will arguably take the title of world’s tallest building.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, the 72-storey, 1.8 million square foot building that was topped off on Monday is set to open for business in 2013, at which time it will become the first occupied high-rise at the site since the attacks.
Located on the southeast corner of the site facing the 9/11 memorial, the building will primarily house commercial offices, although one-third of it will be set aside for the headquarters of site owner Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.