Visit to the World Trade Center

On Friday I was in downtown New York and had a couple of extra hours available. I visited the World Trade Center and went to the Observatory on the 100th to the 102nd floor. You can enlarge all the photographs below by clicking on them.

Tickets to the top for adults are $32. Lines can form very quickly. It’s best to come early. Even when it’s not busy, plan on spending an hour from lining up to getting to the observation platform. But the visit is well worth it.

One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the United States with 1,776 feet, including the antenna on top. It is the 4th tallest building in the world.

Below is the view due north toward the Empire State Building and all of uptown.

To the right behind the Empire State Building you can see a thin white “stick.” This is the recently completed building at 432 Park Avenue, which at a height of 1,396 feet is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere and the second tallest building in New York City, behind One World Trade Center, and ahead of the Empire State Building. When measured by roof height, however, 432 Park Avenue is the tallest building in New York City, surpassing One World Trade Center by 28 feet.

View Uptown
Here is what it looks like inside on the 100th floor.

100th Floor

Here is a view of the Woolworth Building (green roof in center) which was the highest building in New York in 1913 at 792 feet. The top 30 floors are now luxury condominiums going for $3000 a square foot. Behind you can see the Brooklyn Bridge.

Woolworth Bldg and Booklyn Bridge

Here is the view toward the financial district, with Wall Street being right in the middle of the picture. The black slab in the front left is the Millenium Hilton which was right next to the twin towers when they fell.

Wall Street

This photo is straight down looking east. The ribbed structure on the bottom is part of the 9/11 Memorial. It’s huge looking up at it from the street level. Here it is hardly visible. The blue structure on the right with the cranes is one of the new World Trade Center buildings still under construction. You can also see the park and the roof of St. Paul’s chapel in the center of the picture, to the left of the black slab of the Millenium Hilton.

9-11 Memorial

Below another view of the Memorial with the two new towers till under construction. The quality of this photograph is poor, since the morning sun reflected brightly on the glass pane in this view. But when you look carefully you can see the rectangular reflection pool which is exactly where the south tower stood. The other pool is closer to the building and therefore is not visible from the top.

Looking down on Reflection Pool

Looking south, there is the Statue of Liberty in the center, and Ellis Island slightly closer on the right.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

After I came down from the top, I went to the reflection pool that I just pointed out in one of the above pictures and stood for a while and “reflected.” On the left side of the picture in the back you can see the massive base of One World Trade Center where I just was.

Reflection Pool

One last look up. I was just on the very top of that building, looking down and taking all these pictures.

Looking Up

I can definitely recommend a visit to the World Trade Center. If you want to visit the museum, the observatory and spend some time reflecting, you had better plan on spending an entire day there. Or break it up into several different visits.




Visiting New York City

Today I spent a day in New York City. I visited the Museum of Natural History, and was astonished about the wealth of exhibits. It includes of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world, the largest meteorite in the world exhibited, and seemingly endless collections of ancient art and artifacts. I was particularly impressed with the exhibits of the evolution of the human species. It reminded me of how long in the making we have been and how far we have come, and it made me think about how dangerous and disruptive we have become as a species going forward. What will natural history museums 1,000 years from now show about us?

When I had some extra time, I went downtown and checked on the World Trade Center.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center now has its antenna, and with a height of 1,776 feet, it is the highest building in the United States by far. The World Trade Center dominates the Manhattan skyline again. The crane at the top shows there is still construction going on. This is 12 years after 9/11.

Then I went to Bryant Park – it seems there are always protests.

Protest about Turkey

This time there were many activists showing signs about Turkey, wrapping themselves in the Turkish flag, performing chants and dancing in drum circles. It seemed peaceful enough. It was fun to watch for a while

Police is Watching

But that was only appearances. Turning around the other way, you can see police lining the entire periphery of the park. There were literally hundreds of officers surrounding the area. Dozens of police vehicles were parked in the surrounding streets, some of which were closed to traffic.

Wall Street

A couple of blocks away, all was quiet on Wall Street. The statue on the left marks the place where George Washington took the oath of office for President in 1789.

From Financial District

As I was walking north from Wall Street, finding a subway station to go back to Grand Central Station, I looked west and got a nice view of One World Trade Center in the background, framed by the tall buildings of the financial district.