Stunning Views of New York Offered from North America's Tallest Observatory
"Instead of a head-spinning and possibly stomach-churning view of the city from the elevators, visitors – *paying $32 (£21) for the experience – are treated to a multimedia visual display of 500 years of Manhattan history, from its days as a forested island to today’s urban jungle of skyscrapers and canyon," writes Philip Sherwell of The Telegraph.
"The Sky Pod lifts are worth the price of admission alone," writes The Telegraph's Mark C. O’Flaherty in the Travel section.
The mechanics make the actual elevation process and accompanying speed nearly imperceptible. There are no windows, but surrounding video screens immerse you in a dazzling virtual thrill-ride showing New York’s rapidly changing cityscape from 1500 to today; as the lift travels higher and higher, bridges are built and buildings rise below you.
The 3.5m visitors a year wanting to travel to the Observation Deck after it opens on May 29 will take one of five elevators that are believed to be the fastest in North America. Each cab travels at 23mph, and will move from the ground to the 102nd floor in just 60 seconds. [Sherwell states it takes 47 seconds].
As for the sights from the observatory, "(o)n a clear sunny day this week, the awe-inspiring panoramic view stretched from the harbour to the south, taking in the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island ferries churning the waters; west across the new skyscrapers of Jersey City, built by companies that fled the city after 9/11; north towards the thick concrete sprawl of Manhattan, with the landmark pinnacles of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings; and east to the burgeoning new neighbourhoods of Brooklyn," writes Sherwell.
"In comparison to the cage-like 86th floor Observation Deck of the Empire State in Midtown, these floor-to-ceiling glass spaces feel like the future," writes O’Flaherty.
*Some need not pay: "One World Observatory will offer complimentary admission to 9/11 family members and the rescue and recovery workers who responded on 9/11 and in the months after," writes Josh Einiger of ABC 7 News. Also, reduced rates for seniors, youths, and no charge for children five years of age and younger.
Finally, anyone can tour the third largest transit terminal in New York: the $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub, built for the PATH train and 11 subway lines and connected to the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal. According to its website, "it offers the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections in New York City." You can't miss seeing the controversial Oculus structure.