The Spire of hope: Smithsonian in production on ‘Crowning New York’

By April Neale Monsters and Critics

Smithsonian Channel is in production on a one-hour special that reveals one of modern day’s most daring engineering feats: the installation of a 408-foot spire atop One World Trade Center.

Crowning New York will air later this year to coincide with the official ceremony that will mark the lighting of the beacon atop the historic skyscraper.

Moving such a heavy and complex object to such great height has never before been attempted, and the completion of the job provides jaw-dropping footage. More than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, this is a truly monumental moment. It sets the stage for an iconic skyline reborn, with a beacon that will truly “crown” New York City.

At 1,776 feet, One World Trade Center is now the tallest building in the U.S. and third tallest in the world. To capture the construction worker’s remarkable work in placing the 40-story 758-ton spire on top of a building that was already 104 stories high, Smithsonian Channel’s production partner, New York City-based Pipeline 39 Entertainment, was given unparalleled access to the WTC site and its iron workers. They used a helicopter to film the installation of the spire, as well as helmet cams and GoPro cameras.

In the coming weeks, a beacon at the pinnacle of the spire will be switched on, and its 288,000 lumens of light will be visible from 50 miles away. It has been described as a beacon of hope comparable to the Statue of Liberty. Smithsonian Channel and Pipeline 39 Entertainment were given exclusive access to the beacon testing site and to the inner light mechanisms of the beacon.

The event also will feature never-before-aired footage of the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as definitive interviews with architect Daniel Libeskind and officials including former Governor George Pataki and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

To learn about air times for Crowning New York, please click here.

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