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Spire's installation on WTC tower marks restoration of NYC skyline

The final piece of the One World Trade Center spire is attached to the building by ironworkers in New York May 10, 2013. The tower now rises to a symbolic 1,776 feet, making it the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Gary He/INSIDER IMAGES/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: CITYSPACE BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

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By The Associated Press
Friday, May 10, 2013, 6:51 p.m.

NEW YORK — A tall, heavy spire was fully installed atop One World Trade Center on Friday, bringing the New York City structure to its symbolic height of 1,776 feet.

Loud applause and cries of joy erupted from construction workers assembled on a temporary work platform on the roof of the building as the silver spire was gently lowered and secured into place.

“It's a pretty awesome feeling,” Juan Estevez said from the platform.

“It's a culmination of a tremendous amount of team work ... rebuilding the New York City skyline once again,” said Estevez, a project manager for Tishman Construction.

He said the workers around him were “utterly overjoyed.”

Carol Johnston gazed up at the structure later Friday from a nearby building.

“It's sort of a renewal ... like ‘You can't keep us down,' ” said Johnston, a tourist from Fort Worth, Texas.

Pieces of the 408-foot, 758-ton spire were transported to the roof of the building last week. It will serve as a broadcast antenna.

The building is at the northwest corner of the site where the Twin Towers were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The 72-story 4 World Trade Center is under construction at the southeast corner.

The spire is “going to have a light that you can see from tens of miles away,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “And that light will change colors and in the next few months we are going to be activating that light, and it will be a beacon of hope just like the Statue of Liberty.”

Lee Ielpi, whose firefighter son died trying to save employees trapped in the towers, watched workers secure the spire from his office in the nearby 9/11 Tribute Center, which he co-founded.

“The building looks spectacular. ... I'm looking forward to the day when the cranes come down and they light the spire at night,” he said.

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