When the World Trade Center was destroyed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, New York City lost one of its most iconic tourist attractions and places for visitors from around the world to view the skyline, the Observation Deck.
But, after years of planning and construction, One World Trade Center has risen to be the city's tallest building again, bringing with it plans for a state of the art observatory.
The plans for One World Observatory, which will occupy floors 100-102 of One World Trade Center, were put on display today by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Over the sound of drilling and the movement of workers wiping down the floor-to-ceiling windows, Observatory officials painted a picture of what they say will be more of an experience than simply a place to check out the view.
"Not only will the views be spectacular, but every guest will be educated, informed, and entertained from the time they arrive at our front door until they depart the building," said Dave Checketts, chairman and CEO of Legends, the hospitality group developing and in charge of the observation deck.
Legends has agreed to pay $875 million over 15 years for its involvement in the project.
When visitors arrive, Checketts said, they will board a 60-second elevator walled by screens illustrating how New York City has grown through the years.
In addition to the spaces where visitors can see the 360-degree panoramas of New York and New Jersey, the observation deck will include dining options, a souvernier shop, and an event space. Legends officials say they expect the average visit to the observatory to last more an hour.
Port Authority Vice Chairman Scot Rechler said the observation deck will also pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who helped build the tower.
"Without their sweat and unwavering dedication to rise and rebuild, we would not be here today," Rechler said.
The space will be the newest and highest observation deck in New York and is scheduled to open in 2015.