NYC just got a little taller...

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The design of the new One World Trade Center, which is estimated to be valued at $3.8 billion, making it the world's most expensive new office tower

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A mockup of the new World Trade Center skyscraper on the site that was destroyed in the September 11 attacks

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The steel beams used for construction of the One World Trade Center Tower at Ground Zero 

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Besides the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the site will feature 550,000 square feet of retail space when completed

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People bike at the World Financial Center as the construction continues on One World Trade Center

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At 1776 feet, the One World Trade Center will soon tower will over the Empire State Building (on right), making it the tallest building in NYC

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Manhattan’s newest skyscraper is reaching new heights. The structure that’s replacing the World Trade Center twin towers is about to become the tallest building in the city -- and the country, for that matter.

It’s been under construction for some time now, but on Monday, the One World Trade Center tower is getting a new steel column added to its 100th floor, putting it at a height of 1,271 feet. That means it will surpass the frame of NYC’s current tallest skyscraper, the Empire State Building, by 21 feet.

When it’s completed in late 2013/early 2014, One World Trade Center will tower over even Chicago’s Willis Tower. Standing at 1,776 feel above the Ground Zero memorial, One World Trade Center will become the nation’s tallest building.

Mike Mennella, the construction executive who was in charge of building the original towers and is helping to build the new structure, tells HLN that’s a milestone all Americans can be proud of.  

"I think as people look at the building from afar and then realize the site that it sits on, the memorial it adjoins and what the site is about, what was lost here, and what is now being put back together  it's an exciting moment," he said.

And yes, you will be able to visit the tower once it's completed: It will have three top-floor observation decks, giving you a great panoramic view of the New York boroughs and a glimpse into the nation's history.  

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