Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center has again opened for business marking an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the nation.
Some staffers of publishing giant Conde Nast began working at 1 World Trade Center on Monday. The 104-story, $ 3.9 billion skyscraper dominates the Manhattan skyline. The publishing giant becomes the first commercial tenant in America's tallest building.
It's the centerpiece of the 16-acre (6-hectare) site where the decimated twin towers once stood and where more than 2,700 people died on Sept. 11, 2001, buried under smoking mounds of fiery debris.
"The New York City skyline is whole again, as 1 World Trade Center takes its place in Lower Manhattan," said Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns both the building and the World Trade Center site.
The agency began moving into neighboring 4 World Trade Center last week. He said 1 World Trade Center "sets new standards of design, construction, prestige and sustainability; the opening of this iconic building is a major milestone in the transformation of Lower Manhattan into a thriving 24/7 neighborhood."
With construction fences gone and boxes of office equipment in place, the company moved into what Foye called "the most secure office building in America."
Prior to the move, Conde Nast addressed any issues employees might have had about moving into the tower. The architectural firm, TJ Gottesdiener of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, says it took extra measures to strengthen the steel-and-concrete structure. It says it is a much stronger structure than the twin towers.
Starting today, more than 170 employees moved into five of Conde Nast's 25 floors, the company said. By early 2015, about 3,000 more staffers will move in.
The building is 60% leased, with another 80,000 square feet going to the advertising firm Kids Creative, the stadium operator Legends Hospitality, the BMB Group investment adviser, and Servcorp, a provider of executive offices.
The government's General Services Administration signed up for 275,000 square feet (25,548 square meters), and the China Center, a trade and cultural facility, will cover 191,000 square feet (17,744 square meters).
The eight-year construction of the 1,776-foot (541-meter) high skyscraper came after years of political, financial and legal infighting that threatened to derail the project.