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As the giant steel section of 1 World Trade Center’s massive spire went through Lower Manhattan on Sun., Dec. 15 to its rightful place at Ground Zero, it seemed to dominate the streets it would soon by surveying from on high. The steel cylinder was one of eight pieces to arrive in New Jersey in November after a 1,500 nautical mile journey down the Atlantic seaboard.
The shipment had previously been held in Quebec by A.D.F. Corp. during a dispute with the Port Authority, prompting concerns that the first pieces of steel would not make it to the site before the St. Lawrence River froze for the winter. However, the shipment made it safely to New Jersey before being transported by barge to Manhattan for installation.
The first piece of the 408-foot spire was lifted into place on Dec. 12. The spire will be made up of 18 pieces ranging in weight from five to more than 67 tons, which will take at least three months to fully install, depending on weather.
The skyscraper, also known as the Freedom Tower, is currently scheduled to open in 2014, and will contain broadcasting facilities, requiring the spire to double as a functioning antenna. The Port Authority approved the broadcast facilities in April of this year.
The tower and spire will soar to the symbolic height of 1,776 feet with the addition, making 1 W.T.C. the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. It is already the tallest building in New York City.
Photographer Albert Lee, who took these photos, wrote: ‘A once in a lifetime chance to see 4 sections of 1 W.T.C.’s spire transported along Greenwich St. ¬†I’m sure I’ll get to go to the top of 1 W.T.C. one day, but I’ll never get as close to the spire as I have tonight.’
– Kaitlyn Meade