By the time the moon rises over Manhattan tonight, a new, tallest building will be in its midst, rising above all others in the city's famous skyline.
The building is One World Trade Center and its reclaimed record as the city's tallest is one six, even 10 years in the making. Construction on the 1,250 feet high building began six years ago and it stands on the site of the original World Trade Center "Twin Towers" that stood as the tallest buildings in the city before they were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Workers will today erect the building's steel columns that will officially make it taller than New York's iconic Empire State Building, which currently rises 1,250 feet to the 102nd floor observation deck.
The new record does not mean, however, that the building is complete. When construction is finished - estimated to occur in 2013 or 2014 - the building, known as the Freedom Tower, will stand at 1,776 feet and 104 floors, making it 408 feet taller than the twin towers it has replaced.
That height will make the tower arguably the largest building in the United States, surpassing Chicago's 1,451-foot Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and the third tallest building in the world.
At the center of the height dispute is the 408-foot-tall needle that will sit atop the tower's roof, and whether or not that should count in the height records.
Without the needle, which will function as a broadcast antenna, the tower's roof will stand at 1,368 feet, the same height as the north tower of the original World Trade Center, and less than the Willis Tower.
"Height is complicated," said Nathaniel Hollister, a spokesman for The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats, a Chicago-based organization considered an authority on such records, told the Associated Press of the record dispute.
The world's tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 2,717 feet.
The site where Freedom Tower stands tall is also home to 4 World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. The tower will serve as a commercial and office space.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.