47-second elevator ride to top of 1 WTC offers glimpse of 500 years of NYC history

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FINANCIAL DISTRICT, Manhattan (PIX11) — Visitors will soon be able to witness an astonishingly realistic simulation of how New York grew up since the 1500s in the observatory elevators at One World Trade Center.

The New York Times reports the ride in the five observatory elevators to the 102nd floor lasts 47 seconds long, and encompasses 515 years of New York history. It also features a dramatic four-second glimpse of the lost Twin Towers (An imposing view of the North Tower, and a bit of the South Tower).

The ride reaches speeds of 23 miles an hour, right to the top of the third-highest observatory in the Americas. The seemingly 3D time lapse panorama will spread itself before visitors on nine 75 inch HD monitors on three walls of the elevator.

A brief but haunting glimpse of the Twin Towers.

A brief but haunting glimpse of the Twin Towers.

Visitors will start their journey 55 feet below ground in the bedrock of lower Manhattan in the year 1500. As they rise, they will see the wilderness that was gradually erased to build the Financial District. ┬áIn the 1760s, visitors will see the windmills of New Amsterdam, then landmarks like St. Paul’s Chapel and Astor House Hotel, then The New York Tribune and others towers of Newspaper Row.

Towards the end of the ride, visitors catch that glimpse of the Twin Towers for about four seconds. Chairman David W. Checketts of Legends Hospitality, the company in charge of operating the observatory, said this display spurred a major debate within the company, Port Authority and Durst Organization, the developers of the 1 WTC.

As the ride ends at the 102nd floor, the skeleton of the new World Trade Center build around the riders. The exhibit will open on May 29 and will cost $32.