Preview of Future Sights from 1 WTC Observation Deck

A Port Authority worker cleans a window of the 1 World Trade Center observatory, now under construction. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Apr. 04, 2013

One freezing morning this week, a cadre of reporters and photographers donned hard hats, squeezed into construction elevators and took a ride up, 1,250 feet, for a preview of what one day visitors by the thousands will come to see: the New York region for as far as the eye can see. They had come for a look at the site of the observation deck of 1 World Trade Center, the hemisphere’s tallest  building.

Getting there now takes three separate construction elevators, a far cry from the 60-second ride that will whisk visitors to this spectacular aerie when the observatory opens in 2015.

This was a chance for the principals in a deal worked out last month between the Port Authority and the concession operator, Legends, to sing the praises of the three-story observation deck that that will occupy the 100th, 101st and 103rd floors.

“This will go beyond any other visit to any other skyscraper observatory anywhere in the world today,” said Patrick J. Foye, executive director of the Port Authority, which is developing the building.

On their way to the elevators at the start of their one-hour experience, visitors will learn about the construction of 1 World Trade Center and the geology of the land below it. Inside the five high-speed elevators, called “Skypods,” LED screens will offer visitors a virtual experience of riding on the outside of the building.

Arriving on the 102nd floor, visitors enter a theater to view a video before proceeding to the main event—a 360-degree panoramic view that can be seen from all three floors. An escalator takes the visitors to a mezzanine 101st floor, with restaurants, and to the 100th floor with various displays and a gift shop.

The Port Authority, which owns and manages the World Trade Center site, projects that the observatory will raise $875 million over the term its 15-year lease with Legends, a firm jointly owned by the Yankees and Dallas Cowboys that runs a stadium concession and marketing business.

Ticket prices haven’t been set yet, Foye said, but will be "comparable to other world-class attractions in the area."




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