What do you think the world looks like from more than 1,200 feet in the air? We went to Manhattan to see just that from the One World Observatory Deck in the Freedom Tower. It wasn’t the best weather — it was cloudy and wet — but it was all worth it when we saw the sights when the clouds broke every once in a while.
After we went through security, we entered a room to watch a video of construction workers talking proudly about what they accomplished together. They were very proud of the rebirth of the World Trade Center area. The building is on bedrock, so they took us through a room that looked like bedrock walls. At the end, we stood in front of a black screen in a dark room that showed us a bit of every day in New York.
The elevator took us on a ride that felt like it should be at some amusement park. The fastest elevator in the northern hemisphere was hurtling us to the top, but something else made this elevator so special. A video played around us showing the evolution of New York City over the past 400 years. We saw that when immigrants first settled in New York, it was mostly open fields. Then, over time, the buildings began to rise.
It took 47 seconds to get up over 1,000 feet, and our ears popped! Then we were on the 102nd floor, the observation deck, mostly made of large glass windows.
On a bright sunny day, you could see 40 miles north, south, east and west of New York City. We could see the footprints of the old twin towers, the Brooklyn Bridge, New Jersey and baseball fields from the top.
The tour guides gave us each an iPad that worked like a virtual-reality machine. We clicked on buildings and the machine gave us more information about each of them. At the top, we were amazed that the building has very little flex. It was a windy day, but we could not feel the building moving at all. John Urban, vice president and general manager of One World Observatory, said this is because of the way the building was rooted in the bedrock and because of its design. The building is constructed to be 1,776 feet tall, to match the year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This makes the building taller than the Empire State Building and the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
While there, we watched a video about New York history. We asked questions about the tower and the people working there. The trip was amazing it was almost impossible to pick a favorite part. We rate our trip 5 out of 5 smiles. You have to take this tour. Go online: oneworldobservatory.com for more.