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One World Observatory set to join ranks of great New York attractions

By Steve Spinola

One of the best parts of our famous New York City skyline is the multitude of ways we are able to enjoy it. Whether you’re looking at it from across a river, enjoying it from the deck of one our many ferries, or gazing out onto it from atop one of our iconic skyscrapers, each view of our skyline is unique, and each one is breathtaking.

For generations, people from all around the world have come to New York to visit the top of the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center for this reason. For decades, these two buildings have provided millions of visitors with an unbeatable view of our skyline, and have more than earned their iconic status as two locations one cannot afford to miss when visiting New York City.

Soon, our skyline will be viewable from an entirely new angle, and that angle will be from One World Trade Center’s new observatory.

The Observatory will open May 29
The Observatory will open May 29

One World Observatory will officially open on May 29, taking its place among the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center’s “Top of the Rock” Observation Deck as one of the city’s definitive skyline viewing locations. This Observatory will feature breathtaking panoramic views of New York City on three separate floors, and offer a unique perspective from atop the tallest skyscraper in the Western hemisphere.

One World Observatory gives New Yorkers and tourists an opportunity to experience our City in a completely new and exciting way, and the innovation doesn’t stop at the view. Once open to the public, the Observatory will also feature interactive exhibits, world-class dining options, special events, and more. In short, One World Observatory will be a destination in and of itself, and not simply just a part of the attraction that is One World Trade Center.

The Observatory will be on levels 100-102 of the tower, and will also be equipped with the latest technology, including a video board featuring greetings in dozens of languages, a pre-show program telling the stories of the men and women who built One World Trade Center, a dynamic world map highlighting the hometowns of visitors, and many more exciting activities guaranteed to make the Observatory a must-see for anyone seeking to get the most out of the Lower Manhattan scene.

The excitement isn’t just confined to the top floors of the tower, either. Visitors to the building will immediately notice that even the elevators servicing the upper levels of One World Trade Center have an interesting twist to them.

In place of opaque walls, the sides of the five elevators servicing the new observation deck will be made up of a series of high-definition monitors designed to create the illusion that one is inside of a glass-walled elevator. Although this effect is initially used to make it seem as though the elevator is deep underground, as it rises, the reason for the monitors becomes brilliantly clear.

As they ascend, the elevators present their riders with a breathtaking animated time lapse of the development of the tip of Manhattan Island, beginning in the year 1500. Originally little more than a lush landscape of trees and grass, riders are able to witness Manhattan undergo 515 years of development in roughly 50 seconds, concluding with the elevator doors opening on the observation deck of the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere – One World Trade Center.

The Observatory will be on levels 100-102 of the tower.
The Observatory will be on levels 100-102 of the tower.

The time lapse also contains an image of the original One and Two World Trade Center towers, which Legends Hospitality, the company chosen to operate the observatory, rightly decided was an important and key part of New York City’s history, and should not be left out. Although the image does not last long – approximately four seconds on one side of the elevator – it is enough to be a soft reminder that not only is One World Trade Center an impressive piece of architecture, it is also a symbol of our city’s pride.

Once open to the public next month, One World Observatory and the  innovative elevator trip leading up to it will be yet another in a plethora of colorful and cultural attractions in New York City. The panoramic views, educational activities, and special events hosted there will serve as a reminder of how far Manhattan has come, as well as food for thought in terms of where it will be in another 500 years.

In other REBNY news:

Request for Potential Pre-Kindergarten Spaces: The New York City Department of Education (DOE) is seeking to identify space for September 2015 that could be converted for pre-K programs in order to offer full-day, high-quality, free pre-K to every four-year old in New York City through the Pre-K For All Expansion.  To find out more information about the space requirements, or to submit a property for consideration, please visit the DOE’s web site at


The Residential Upper Manhattan Open House Expo is May 2nd and 3rd! This year, REBNY is combining its annual open house expos into one exciting, all-inclusive weekend, during which attendees will be able to view exclusive condo, co-op, townhouse, and high-end rental listings in Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and Hamilton Heights! For more information on attending this lively event, contact Desiree Jones at or Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at


REBNY’s Finance Committee Cocktail Reception is on May 11th! This exciting networking event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the 230 Fifth Avenue Rooftop Lounge, and will feature an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. For more information, contact Ossie Shemtov at or visit


May 12th is REBNY’s next Commercial Crossfire event, “From Garment Center to Center of Gravity: The Transformation of a Neighborhood and What It Means for NYC.” Join panelists Eric Gural, Tony Malkin, Chris Schlank, and moderator William Montana in the Mendik Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to be a part of this exciting seminar, free for REBNY members. For more information, contact Desiree Jones at

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