Steel construction has reached the halfway point for '1 World Trade Center,' the building also known as the Freedom Tower.
After years of stalled development, steel at the building reached the 52nd story, more than 600ft above ground.
The tower is slated to stand at 104 stories, with an antenna reaching hundreds of feet higher, bringing it to a symbolic 1,776ft, the tallest in the country. The US declared independence from Britain in 1776.
The building was renamed to encourage and attract corporate tenants, but the Freedom Tower name has stuck for many and still remains on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's website detailing the rebuilding.
Steve Coleman, spokesperson from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said he was hopeful they would finish the building by the end of 2011.
It takes so long for workers at the rising tower to return to the ground that a sandwich shop built out of shipping containers is being raised along with the building by a hydraulically powered platform.
The skyscraper is one of several envisioned at the site, along with a September 11 memorial, transit hub and performing arts centre.
The memorial, with reflecting pools set above the footprints of the fallen towers, is expected to open by the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks.