Fastest Elevators in the West Climb Tallest Skyscraper in the West

When the observatory at 1 World Trade Center (1 WTC) opens May 29 in lower Manhattan, visitors will be treated to a spectacular 360-degree view of New York City and the surrounding area from nearly 390 meters above its bustling streets. All that’s needed to travel to the upper reaches of the building, also known as the “Freedom Tower,” is a 60-second ride in the Western Hemisphere’s fastest elevator system.
The 104-story 1 WTC—which opened for tenants in November—has 73 elevators, five of which will be express elevators with a top speed of more than 36.5 kilometers per hour. They are not the fastest in the world—Taiwan’s Taipei 101 skyscraper elevators race to the top of that 508-meter-tall tower at up to about 60 kilometers per hour—but they are still a full 25-percent faster than the express elevators in 1 WTC’s predecessor, the Twin Towers.