The New York Times — RANDY KENNEDY — To get to the top of One World Trade Center as it stands in mid-August, just shy of 1,000 feet above Lower Manhattan, higher than anything else on the island’s southern end, first you walk to the middle of the blast-resistant concrete cathedral that will become the building’s lobby. From there, a hoist takes you to the 39th floor, whose perimeter has already been glassed in. A sign spray-painted in screaming construction orange — “EXPRESS ALL DAY” — directs you to a second hoist, inside which Don McLean is singing, “Bye, bye, Miss American Pie …” and men in hard hats decoupaged with flag decals are bobbing their heads to the beat.
On the 70th floor, the end of the line for the hoist, you emerge and climb five more stories inside a cage staircase attached to the outside of the building’s south face before taking a final flight of stairs. At the top of these you see — disconcertingly, even though you have known where you were heading all along — brilliant sunshine. Above you is blue sky and two floors of skeletal steel not yet covered in decking. The only other thing overhead, on the bare beams, is the remarkably small tripartite crew of workers doing jobs that have remained virtually unchanged since steel-frame construction began a little more than a century ago: guiding the steel into place as the cranes lift it up (the raising gang), securing it permanently (the bolting gang) and ensuring that all of it is vertically true (the plumb-up gang).