1 WTC tour is city’s latest status symbol

August 13, 2012 03:00PM

If you want to gawk at the global elite in New York, skip the front rows of Madison Square Garden, don’t bother making reservations at Nobu and avoid stalking VIP rooms behind velvet ropes in the Meatpacking District. Instead, simply take a trip to 1 World Trade Center.

According to the Wall Street Journal, touring the rising tower has become a bragging right for connected New Yorkers and even international giants. Barack Obama famously meandered through the tower in June, but industry leaders, Financial District locals, veterans and other people with connections to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey — everyone from astronaut Buzz Aldrin to New York Jets center Nick Mangold — have quietly been on one of the hundreds of trips inside the tower.

The tours are typically guided by a Port Authority employee, according to the Journal, who takes visitors on a hoist elevator to the 20th floor or higher. Some visitors have gone as high up as the last completed floor, the 55th.

“The World Trade Center Site Is A Place of special significance for the region, the country, and people abroad,” said a Port Authority spokesperson. “As such, we are always willing to accommodate tours when schedules permit us to give access to this remarkable project.” [WSJ]