A file photo of the redevelopment of Ground Zero in...

A file photo of the redevelopment of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. (Aug. 12, 2009) Credit: AP

Peering into the cavernous pit in lower Manhattan, it was hard to picture a redesigned World Trade Center just a year ago.

A look now - with observance of the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks only days away - offers a far different view.

See photos of Ground Zero today

Elements of the multibillion-dollar reconstruction plan are beginning to take shape. Structures that will memorialize the lives lost in the 2001 and 1993 terror attacks, will also redefine New York City's downtown.

Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that owns the site, calls what is happening "an incredible dance of construction."

The signature skyscraper, One World Trade Center, commonly known as the Freedom Tower, has risen more than 100 feet above street level. It still is mostly a foundation and a steel frame with no floors. But a year ago, the frame was only 25 feet above street level.

Portions of the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum are steadily moving toward targeted completion dates.The entire memorial, including the museum's pavilion and underground exhibition space, is to be completed in 2013.

Details on WTC Memorial and Museum

Cost: $610 million (for memorial and museum)

Completion: Memorial partially done in 2011 for 10th anniversary of 9/11. Entire memorial and underground museum to be completed in 2013.

Features: Two 1-acre-sized pools with waterfalls within footprints of Twin Towers.

Raised bronze panels with the names of the 2,981 people who died on 9/11 and the six killed in the 1993 terror bombings at the site.

8-acre plaza with nearly 500 swamp white oak and sweetgum trees.

>>Click to see photos of fire trucks, steel beams, personal items and other relics that survived at Ground Zero

>>Photos of victims and other artifacts from the WTC Tribute Museum

>>See photos of Ground Zero today

>>Read about progress on the 9/11 museum

>>Read about the reflecting pools memorial

>>Complete guide to September 11: Eight years later

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