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One World Trade Center becomes New York City's tallest skyscraper

Rock Center and Associated Press reporting

One World Trade Center, the giant monolith being built to replace the twin towers destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, will lay claim to the title of New York City's tallest skyscraper on Monday. Workers will erect steel columns that will make its unfinished skeleton a little over 1,250 feet high, just enough to peak over the roof of the observation deck on the Empire State Building.

Explore a panoramic image of New York City from the 69th floor of One World Trade Center

The milestone is a preliminary one. Workers are still adding floors to the building once referred to as the "Freedom Tower" and it isn't expected to reach its full height for at least another year, at which point it is likely to be declared the tallest building in the U.S., and third tallest in the world.

NBC's Harry Smith toured One World Trade Center and reported on the tower's construction progress last month for Rock Center with Brian Williams. At the time, iron worker Kevin Murphy told Smith, “In the next couple of weeks, we’re there.  That’s going to be another big, you know, special day.  Pretty much from here on up, everything’s special, you know?”

Click here to read the full story about One World Trade Center on msnbc.com

Click here to watch Harry Smith's report, "The Rising," from NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams.