When Michael Young was a child, his father would take him and his older brother to his office in the North Tower of the original World Trade Center.
“That’s where some of my earliest memories of New York City were, and that’s what inspired me to go into architecture,” the 24-year-old from Old Bridge, New Jersey, said.
That lifelong WTC passion paid off Friday when Young was able to get a sneak peek tour of 3WTC, slated to open in June, after he won a Facebook photo contest held in celebration of the main WTC page reaching 1 million followers and becoming the most-followed building in the city.
“We thought it would be fun to offer a young photographer a behind-the-scenes tour so they can see not just the glass façade, but what’s happening behind,” said Dara McQuillan of Silverstein Properties, developer of 3WTC.
“I was pretty surprised and happy,” Young told Metro, which tagged along on his exclusive tour. “This was my chance to add to the history of the World Trade Center, and what better way to show them how much I love them than through photography, which is another way of how I express my creativity?”
A sneak peek inside 3 World Trade Center
After we were led through the fence surrounding the site, we entered the 64-foot-high lobby, one of the tallest in the city, which will feature walls made of Zimbabwe black granite, floors of Sardinian gray granite, LED lighting panels and exposed escalators. The latter is a trademark of architect Richard Rogers, one that is also seen in the ladder-like bracing on the building’s exterior.
“When you come into the lobby of the building, you can see the nuts and bolts and how things work. It’s hypnotic,” said McQuillan. “I think that’s going to surprise most people, looking at a skyscraper and seeing it work.”
We then visited the first of three terraces at 3WTC, 205 feet above street level on the 17th floor. Then we were whisked up to the second terrace on the 60th floor, 718 feet up, before seeing even more breathtaking views of the city and beyond from 934 feet up on the 76th floor, just four stories from the top.
The interior spaces on the terrace floors are vast, undeveloped spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views from every angle due to 3WTC’s column-free design.
When asked what his favorite part of the tour was, Young said, “Looking down and seeing Oculus, that’s probably one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen, and to see the architecture of the beams was really mind-blowing for me.”
9 fast facts about 3 World Trade Center
• 3WTC is on the site of the former Marriott World Trade Center, which was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks
• The 80-story building is 1,079-feet tall
• Construction began in 2008, but halted during the housing crisis and restarted in 2010
• 27K tons of steel upon completion
• 145K yards of concrete upon completion
• 10K panels of glass upon completion
• 5th tallest building in NYC
• Slated to open June 6
• Ad media agency GroupM is the anchor tenant, with nearly 700K square feet on 14 floors
Source: Silverstein Properties