One World Observatory, The Freedom Tower

I have written two posts earlier about the views from our apartment. Please see Beginning and The Tallest Building.

When we moved into our apartment a decade ago, there was no Freedom Tower. Memories of 9/11 still fresh.

Over the years, One World Trade Center or the Freedom Tower has become what you see below. We have seen it evolve while witnessing our own evolution. And last weekend, we visited One World Observatory at One World Trade Center.

The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, fourth tallest in the world. A symbol of resilience, rising from the ashes. The apartment view.
That’s our apartment building. Witnessing the witnesser of the past ten years from the 102nd floor of One World Observatory.
Zoomed-in view from the ground
As expected, there were airport-like security checks.
The tunnel, en route to the Sky Pod elevator, has mock displays of the natural rock foundations of the building. The bedrock of New York City: how an ancient mountain range made its skyscrapers possible.

Sky Pod elevators. We reached the 102nd floor in 47 seconds. Inside, on our rocket ride, we experienced a three-dimensional time-lapse panorama of NYC history unfolding on three walls of the elevator cab. (Warning: The elevator ride you are about to experience utilizes large format media displays to create the illusion of dynamic motion and viewing beyond the elevator cab walls. Individuals who are sensitive to simulation experiences, or suffer from fear of heights or motion sickness are advised to either close their eyes or face the elevator doors to avoid discomfort.)
See Forever Theater. After you disembark the elevator, you walk up to a big rectangular screen where you’ll see a multi-media presentation highlighting the NYC timeline, introducing you to the observatory.

360-degree views:

East River, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge
Financial District, Governors Island, Brooklyn
Midtown and Uptown Manhattan
The iconic Hudson River separating New Jersey from New York City.
The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Staten Island, and Jersey City in New Jersey.
At One Dine, One World, celebrating our son’s birthday.
Exploring the Sky Portal: a real-time perspective from HD cameras affixed to the tower’s spire, projected right at the feet.
The Buzz gives all the information you need about NYC.
Calatrava’s Bird in Flight, the WTC transportation hub that cost $4 billion.
The Oculus, the transportation hub
The West Concourse

It starts with Lines (Photo Challenge). It starts with Rivulet, too (Daily Prompt).

24 thoughts on “One World Observatory, The Freedom Tower

  1. This looks like quiet the experience at The Freedom Tower. Not only great views, but a good reminder of how New York has come in the last few decades. Sometimes you don’t realise how fast a place changes unless you stop and reflect for a moment. Love the two photos from your apartment and it is quite a view you got there. Maybe in the future that view will change with more architecture.

  2. A great tour of the place. I visited the tower last year. It was impressive. I also like the setting where the World Trade buildings too. It was too bad that the Oculus was still under construction at the time. I did not get a chance to get there even though I was sort of there. Please have a great Sunday.

    • Great that you were there, YC. The Oculus looks pristine from the inside although its exterior design, the Bird in Flight concept, has been severely criticized. Thanks for the comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Nice tour Mahesh! Our kids are in Manhattan so we visit the area often. Altho I love the architecture of the Calatrava as a stand-alone I think it is horribly misplaced in the current location. I’m among the many who think it detracts from the area. I also find the new tower not nearly as impressive as the twin towers but sentimentality may play a part in that. I absolutely love the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and am happy to see it is still drawing people from all over the world as well as from the US. Thanks for highlighting the importance of the area.

    • I agree. The Bird in Flight crowds the already dense downtown area. It reminds me of, though not identical symbolically or otherwise, Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, but in the latter’s case there is space around it for one to take in the beautiful architecture. 9/11 Memorial and Museum is certainly one of the best tributes we have. Thanks Tina for sharing your views. Much appreciated.

  4. Amazing shots Mahesh! They bring back memories of Burj Khalifa, the elevator ‘rocket ride’ and the corridor display. I have been to Manhattan but didn’t think of going up the Freedom Tower. Thanks for the details and the pictorial journey…seems like really being transported there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Mahesh what spectacular images. When my daughter and I visited NYC the tower was just about to be completed but not yet open. As we gazed up from the memorial site it really did exude resilience and recovery. Iโ€™m sure it has been amazing to watch the progress from your own apartment!

    • Yes, it’s been an amazing journey and a blessing, Sue. Glad you were at the memorial, and hope you’ll make it to the Freedom Tower someday soon. Have a great week.

  6. You are a great photographer Mahesh. I was fully immersed in the images of these spectacular buildings. The narratives made me feel as If I am really there. I wish I could visit NY some day.

    • Thanks, my dear friend. I truly value your words. And you will visit NYC one day. We have to trust ‘time’ and everything happens for the best. Looking forward.

  7. Thank you so much for taking me here Mahesh. Before I set off on my Atlantic Crossing, I used to live in a building overlooking the hole that is now The Freedom Tower. The building was in progress when I returned home in 2012 between ocean crossings but did not open until a year after I set sail across The Pacific. I look forward to visiting here one day and thank you for providing me with a virtual tour as the ‘advance party’

    • Thanks Lisa for sharing your thoughts. Like I mentioned in the post ‘We have seen it evolve while witnessing our own evolution’ I can tell you relate to it that way. The FT became not only bigger and taller but prouder as you crossed oceans and witnessed life transformations. Best wishes, my friend.

  8. Wow. Glad you’re exploring your own backyard, so to speak. Which is light years away from mine! Happy birthday to your little one as well! How old is he now? ๐Ÿ˜˜

  9. Oh my.. what a place to live and what a view.. I remember staying in a highrise hotel in Vancouver Canada we were on the 42nd floor.. You could actually feel the building sway.. We were told this was normal as it was Earthquake proof.. Hmmmmmm… lol

    Wonderful photo shares Mahesh.. Enjoy your week my friend.. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • “You could actually feel the building sway.. We were told this was normal as it was Earthquake proof” – ha ha. This is true. It took us a few months to realize this ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much, my friend, for the comment. Much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

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