Time-lapse Video of One World Trade Center

This mesmerizing, two-minute time-lapse video captures the construction of One World Trade Center over eleven painful, politically intractable years. Produced by the company EarthCam, it seems like a marvel of meticulous, patient shot-planning; because the sheer mass of its subject changes so dramatically, the camera must pan to accommodate the construction’s progress slowly, over the course of years. (In fact, EarthCam has pledged to keep documenting the continued evolution of this landmark “for future generations.”) Two minutes is appropriately bite-sized for Internet consumption, but I could do with a version of this that runs for ten or twenty minutes at least—as a viewer I want more time to pore over the particulars of the monolith coming into being.

A side note about the design of One World Trade, now that it’s finally done. I’m not overly taken with its form, but I do think that it accomplishes at least one goal for a landmark loaded with such high expectations: its design is distinctive and easily recognizable, and yet still visually simple and comprehensible enough that a child can draw it easily. That’s part of what makes the world’s mot iconic monuments—the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramid of Giza, the Washington Monument and a few others—so successful. I’m not saying that this tower is as timeless as those, but it does satisfy at least that one qualification.