When the observatory opens atop the One World Trade Center on May 29, visitors will be able to take an elevator ride that shows them an animated timelapse of New York City’s construction — and it even offers a brief glimpse at the original Twin Towers.
Built inside each of the observatory’s elevators are nine, 75-inch displays that create the illusion that you are viewing Manhattan’s skyline through glass elevator windows, according to The New York Times.
During the 42-second ride, visitors are shown a detailed recreation of New York City’s industrialisation and construction. The elevator appears to emerge from bedrock in the year 1500, revealing marsh land yet to be colonised, and then quickly advances to show the rapid expansion that led to the Manhattan we know today.
As the timelapse enters the 1900s, visitors will also be able to see the original Twin Towers — 1 World Trade Center and 2 World Trade Center — for approximately four seconds before they disappear and the view is eventually replaced with the scaffolding of the One World Trade Center.
By the end of the ride, visitors will see their view of the skyline replaced with the construction of One World Trade Center, which shows the rapid construction of the building and its elevator shaft, offering a feeling of continuity as you step off the elevator and into the observatory.
You can watch the entire animated timelapse video below, courtesy of The New York Times.