WTC Observatory Elevator Shows 515 Years of NYC

One World Trade Center towers over visitors at the 9/11 Memorial plaza on a sunny day. Swamp white oak trees stand over the visitors in the foreground.
One World Trade Center towers above the 9/11 Memorial. (Photo: Jin Lee)

In just 47 seconds, visitors to the top of 1 World Trade Center will witness 515 years of New York City history.

The One World Observatory opens May 29, and an elevator trip from the bottom floor to the 102nd floor includes an animated, three-dimensional panoramic view of the tip of Manhattan from the 16th century to present day.

The New York Times reported, “At first, one feels enclosed in bedrock. The year is 1500 and the elevator is 55 feet below ground. As it rises, time advances. The cab seems to head skyward from an offshore marsh, a reminder that the trade center site was originally underwater.”

Read the full article in the Times.

By Jordan Friedman, 9/11 Memorial Research and Digital Projects Associate

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