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Take an elevator ride back in time

In our NewsHour Shares video of the day, The New York Times shows a World Trade Center elevator that takes you on an animated, time-lapse ride of Manhattan skyline has changed since 1500.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Now to our NewsHour Shares of the day, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you.

    The new shimmering World Trade Center scrapes the sky from its commanding position in Lower Manhattan, and near its top, high over New York, is the three-story observatory, with awesome and serene views that somehow quiet the roaring city a quarter-mile below.

    But it is the journey to that high perch that we thought you should see. Special elevators make the 102-floor journey in 47 seconds. And it is, in part, a journey five centuries in the making. Nine high-definition monitors, each six-and-a-half feet across, display the history of New York from the year 1500 on.

    We start below ground, in bedrock. Marshy lowlands appear just above ground, then the first European settlement, New Amsterdam, in the 1600s. Soon, the spire of Saint Paul's Chapel that still sits to the east of the tower appears from the late 1760s. You are now 250 feet above ground on the ride.

    A succession of buildings rise as the city does, and the game of can you top this that made New York the city of skyscrapers. And then, for a breathtaking four seconds, the World Trade Center towers erected in the early '70s and destroyed September 11, 2001. The old towers had to appear, but their depiction sparked much heartfelt debate.

  • DAVID KERSCHNER, President, Legends Attractions:

    We thought that the right way, the most respectful way to treat the old Twin Towers was to display them in the appropriate time that they existed. And so, as you saw when you came up, they appear suddenly, and they disappears very quickly as well.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    But, soon after, the new tower appears around the elevator as it rises and stops on floor 102 in 2015. The observation deck opens next Friday.

    Pretty breathtaking.

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