On November 3, 2014, One World Trade Center was completed. Towering over the New York City skyline, it stands 1,776 feet tall, from ground level to the top of the spire — a number specifically chosen as a nod to the year in which the Declaration of Independence was signed.
For its The New York Issue, The New York Times decided to capture the scene atop One World Trade Center in a way few other publications ever could.
With the help of National Geographic photographer Jimmy Chin, who happens to work on the 85th floor of One World Trade Center, The New York Times created a virtual reality experience that lets viewers get a view of the world as it’s seen from the top of the spire.
The task of capturing the image might have been daunting for anyone else, but Chin is known for his climbing escapades and the beautiful images he captures while on them. Despite his familiarity with heights, the view and experience of capturing New York City from the top of One World Trade Center are not something Chin will soon forget.
“You’re looking down on something you’re not in, and you feel you’re a long way from where you need to be if you need to be safe,“ Chin told The New York Times. ”At the same time, there’s something therapeutic about seeing great distances. It happens on planes, on mountains, on beaches. I’ll have a meeting with a new client, and we’ll gaze out the window and have this comfortable silence.”
Below are a few posts from Chin’s Instagram showing him in action:
Another behind the scenes perspective of the @nytmag cover shoot taken by good friend @geosteinmetz. The 408ft spire on top of the One World Trade Center brings the height of the building to 1776ft, making it the tallest man made point in the Western Hemisphere. If you look closely…. Shot for this weekend's @nytmag special edition New York issue – HIGH LIFE – The City Above 800 Feet. Check out the magazine for some more perspectives of skyscraper life in NYC from some amazing photographers including @christopherandersonphoto #thomasstruth @brianfinke @jackdavisonphoto @screenlives @flynyon @newyorkairbook #manonspire
Stoked to share the cover shot of this weekend's special edition @nytmag. Spending time in NYC as a climber, I inevitably end up looking towards the most obvious and aesthetic line in the skyline. Never thought I would ever actually get access to climb to the top of the 1 World Trade Center….Here Jamison Walsh, a fall protection specialist, who inspects the building's spire, climbs towards the Crow's Nest near the top of the 1WTC. See more at the link in my profile and keep your eyes out for the VR piece where you can join us on the climb… Big thanks to @kathyryan1, Jake Silverstein @handheldproductions for making it happen!!! #manonspire
Photo by @geosteinmetz Moving on up…..A behind the scenes image from yesterday's @nytmag cover photo. This pic of us climbing was shot by my good friend George Steinmetz from a heli. To see more of George's incredible images of New York from the air, give a follow at @newyorkairbook. You can also check out the virtual reality piece from the climb at the link in my bio. Enjoy the vertigo….
To see the scenery as it’s intended to be viewed, you’ll need a virtual reality rig of some sort, be it an Oculus Rift or simply Google Cardboard.
If you don’t have either of those on hand, don’t worry. Both in the browser and inside YouTube’s smartphone application, you can see the incredible 360-degree view in all its glory.
To accompany the visuals, The New York Times has written a lengthy piece on One World Trade Center and the unique experience its architecture offers those who get to scale the building, be it for work or pleasure.