On Thursday 2 May, the final two sections of steel spire that will crown the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed One World Trade Center (1WTC) in Manhattan, New York were lifted to the top of the tower. Draped in the American flag which fluttered its stars and stripes in the breeze, Sections 17 and 18 of the spire were hoisted to the top of the building ready to be put into place at a later date. Once set in their final position, the two Sections will bring 1WTC to its full height of 1,776ft, symbolic of the year of American Independence.
The spire incorporates a set of three communication rings and a beacon made from galvanized steel and stainless steel respectively, with the latter containing 288 50watt LED modules which will combine to give out 288,000 lumens of light. On a clear day, it will be possible to see the light emitted from this shining beacon from 50 miles away. In total the various components of the spire - including a maintenance ring - weigh in at 1,485 tonnes.
Once the steel spire and its associated rings and beacon are put in place at the top of 1WTC, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s tower will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in the world. Costing $3.8bn, the LEED Gold certified structure includes 3 million sq ft of office space for high profile tenants such as Conde Nast and the US General Services Administration. Levels 100-102 of the 104-storey building will host a public observation deck operated by Legends Hospitality.
Steven Plate, Head of WTC Construction explained: “It’s a 22-tonne structure that will house all state-of-the-art lighting facilities as well as a beacon that will be seen for miles around to give a tremendous indication to people in the entire region and the world that [New York] is back and better than ever. I want to applaud all the people in the region as well as the workers who dedicated themselves to this great event. We’re going to be hoisting [the spire] up to a work platform, positioning it such that we can place it very strategically over the next several weeks in its resting place.”