One World Observatory is New York City’s latest and greatest observation deck. It’s also the highest observation deck in the city, soaring over 100 stories above the Big Apple. But One World Observatory is so much more than just a pretty view from a tall building. Here are the main reasons why we think One World Observatory is an incomparable experience that can (literally) take your New York trip to new heights.
A Brief History of One World Trade Center:
Part of what makes One World Observatory special is the building it’s in: One World Trade Center- the tallest building in the western hemisphere, and arguably the most recognizable building of the New York City skyline.
One World Trade Center opened in 2014, just 13 years after the horrific attacks of September 11th, 2001. That fateful day, terrorists hijacked commercial airplanes and used them to knock down the Twin Towers, killing almost 3,000 people in under 2 hours.
One World Trade Center now stands just feet away from where the Twin Towers once stood, and where the waterfalls of the 9/11 Memorial are today. Therefore, the mere presence of One World Trade Center is a symbol of strength, resilience, unity, and regrowth not just for New Yorkers and Americans, but for the entire world.
Yet at the end of the day, One World Trade Center is also a simple office building. So there wouldn’t be much of a reason for groups to go inside if not for One World Observatory. This observation deck provides visitors a way to experience this incredibly meaningful building in one of the best ways possible; a view from the top!
One World Observatory uses immersive multimedia to the max. It’s a major reason why they’ve become an unforgettable stop on the New York City tour.
There’s a humongous video map in the Global Welcome Center that shows where your group is from as you walk in. It also shows how many people have come from other parts of the world so you can compare. It represents the figures by making an area with a lot of visitors pop out from the globe. The place with the most visitors pops out the furthest.
As you continue toward the elevators, you’ll hear an exhibition called ‘Voices’. These are video interviews of the construction workers who built One World Trade Center. Many of them discuss what it meant to contribute to such a meaningful project and consequently, each one is rather emotionally intense.
At this point you’ll be weaving through replica caves of New York schist, the rock found beneath the surface of Manhattan. You’ll hear and read more about the engineering feats necessary to build on this material while you wait for the elevator. That’s when things get really, really cool.
The elevator ride to the 102nd floor may be our favorite part. You’re surrounded by floor-to-ceiling video screens that show a simulated time-lapse of what it would look like to see New York City changing from pre-European settlement to present day while rising 102 stories. All in 72 seconds! If that description didn’t make sense, it’s because you truly have to see it to believe it.
Finally, you’ll exit the elevator and watch a brief cultural montage of New York City on a panoramic screen, and at the conclusion, the grand reveal will occur: The screen lifts up and you’re presented with your first view of New York City from 102 stories high!
Sweet and Somber Surroundings:
After you’ve taken in the breath-taking views and made your way back downstairs, you’ll find that one of your exit points will be the Oculus- one of New York City’s newest and largest subway stops, rivaling Grand Central Terminal in size. The most noteworthy feature is it’s grand foyer; a soaring, cathedral-style space made of white pillars and panes of glass meant to represent the wings of doves.
There’s one long, thin pane of glass that cuts through the middle of the entire foyer, and the only thing you can see through it is One World Trade Center. Every September 11th, the glass retracts and doves are released through the open ceiling to commemorate the victims of 9/11.
If you climb to the top floor of the Oculus, you’ll actually be at ground level. The doors will release you directly into the 9/11 Memorial. Groups will normally use the time before or after their visit to One World Observatory to pay respects at the 9/11 Memorial or visit the museum.
One World Observatory- A Unique and Unforgettable Experience:
One World Observatory isn’t just another New York City observation deck. Its an unforgettable experience because it’s location in One World Trade Center, the immersive state-of-the-art-technology featured throughout, and it’s incredibly beautiful and meaningful neighbors like the Oculus and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Make sure you add this tour stop to your next New York City trip to help take things to an incredible new level!