Coming across Long Island from La Guardia Airport into New York City last week, My Beloved Brit and I could see a huge new tower in the distance in lower Manhattan. When we went downtown on Monday, we stared right at it and realized it was the new One World Trade Center, better known as 1 WTC.

The 104-story skyscraper has reached its height, and will be finished by 2013.  It is quite impressive now…

The new tower nearing completion in downtown New York City on the site of the twin towers. Photo by me

…and will be even more beautiful when it is finished.

Rendering from the Wikipedia website

When completed in 2013, 1 WTC will be the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the third-tallest in the world, with its spire reaching the symbolic 1,776 feet in reference to the year of American Independence.

On the other side of the pond, The Shard opened in London on July 5th of this summer.

The Shard, to the left of the photo, from their website

The Shard, designed by architect Renzo Piano, is spectacular on the London skyline, positioned on the South Bank, it is by far the highest building along the Thames.  When I saw the new tower in lower Manhattan, I couldn’t help recalling the sloping sides of The Shard. The Shard is only 1,016 ft tall, but in a city like London, it seems much taller in comparison to the buildings surrounding it. It is the tallest building in Western Europe, and houses the 5-star Shangri-La hotel.

From The Shard’s website, you can see its relative height on the South Bank of London

Located in the London Bridge Quarter on the South Bank of the Thames, the developers are hoping the new skyscraper will add new life to the area with a transformed transport hub, new retail space, offices and restaurants. This is the look of modern London.