New York City's skyline may be one of the most recognizable in the world, but it wasn't always filled with glass and steel skyscrapers.
Once upon a time, New York City was nothing but grass and water — but after its founders established a city there, it quickly grew and changed over the years.
Now you can see the evolution of New York's skyline by taking a ride on the elevators at 1 World Trade Center. Hit the button for the top floor – the observatory – and you'll be educated on what the city's famous skyline looked like throughout history via time-lapse photography.
The New York Times explains the elevator's journey as one that "recreates the development of New York City's skyline from the 1500s to today." Here's the rest of the description:
"From the moment the doors close until they reopen 47 seconds later on the 102nd floor, a seemingly three-dimensional time-lapse panorama will unfold on three walls of the elevator cabs, as if one were witnessing 515 years of history unfolding at the tip of Manhattan Island."
And here's a video of what that journey to the top of 1 World Trade Center will look like. We have to admit: it looks spectacular. Don't miss the original World Trade Center appearing for a few seconds, close to the end of the video.
The observation deck, which offers a 360-degree view of the current New York City skyline at 1 World Trade Center opens to the public on May 29 with an admission fee of $39 for adults and $26 for children. It's a sure bet that lines for this attraction will be long, but probably worth it. The ride is also fast: the five elevators, called "sky pods," can take visitors from the ground floor to the 102nd floor in under a minute.
The observatory also features art displays and documentaries on the history of the city.
1 World Trade Center is the tallest building in the northern hemisphere (at 1,776 feet tall) and one of the newest icons in the New York City skyline.