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World Trade Center Back on Top of New York's Skyline

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By the time the moon rises over Manhattan tonight, a new tallest building will rise above all others on the city's famous skyline.

The building is One World Trade Center and its reclaimed record as the city's tallest has been more than a decade in the making.  Construction on the building began six years ago and it stands on the site of the original World Trade Center Twin Towers that were the tallest buildings in the city before they were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

PHOTOS: New World Trade Center Stands High in the Manhattan Sky

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Credit: Port Authority of NY & NJ, Photographer: Matthew McDermott

Workers will today erect the building's steel columns that will officially make it taller than New York's iconic Empire State Building, which currently rises 1,250 feet to the 102nd floor observation deck. "Good Morning America's" George Stephanopoulos broadcast live from the top of the building today.

WATCH: WTC Foremen Discuss Building the City's Tallest Skyscraper

The new record does not mean, however, that the building is complete.  When construction ends in 2013 or 2014 - the building will stand at 1,776 feet and 104 floors, making it 408 feet taller than the twin towers it has replaced.

That height will make the tower arguably the largest building in the United States, surpassing Chicago's 1,451-foot Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and the third-tallest building in the world.

But it's not clear whether the building will claim a height record because of the 408-foot-tall needle that will top if off.

Without the needle, which will function as a broadcast antenna, the tower's roof will stand at 1,368 feet, the same height as the north tower of the original World Trade Center, and lower than the Willis Tower.

"Height is complicated," Nathaniel Hollister, a spokesman for The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats, a Chicago-based organization considered an authority on such records, told the Associated Press.

The world's tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 2,717 feet.

The progression of construction on One World Trade was captured in a two-minute, time-lapse video from EarthCam, the international webcam technology company.

The site where the $3.8 billion 1 WTC stands tall is also home to 4 World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial Plaza.  The tower will contain commercial and office space.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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