The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s One World Trade Center reached 1,271 ft on April 30th after ironworkers from DCM Erectors installed two, 26-ft steel interior columns on the top. The columns have surpassed the architectural top of the Empire State Building, which stands 1,250 ft above grade and 1,454 ft to the top of its spire.

Photo by Luke Abaffy

Steel will continue to be erected on the tower until it tops out and reaches its 104th floor at 1,368 ft this summer. CM Tishman Construction says that when completed in fall 2013, the tower will rise 1,776 including its 408-ft antenna. It will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, PANYNJ says. The agency, which owns the 16-acre WTC site, celebrated its 91st anniversary on April 30th.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, the structure will include 3 million square feet of office space on 71 office floors, a grand public lobby with a 50-ft ceilings, and public observation decks on the 100th and 101st floors. Publishing giant Conde Naste has signed on to lease about one-third of the space.

(This article was changed on May 4 to better reflect the project's current status.)