This is such a stunning idea that has been beautifully executed – I have watched it at least twenty times so far so that I can notice different buildings as they grow (or disappear).  The elevator in the new One World Observatory takes you on a visual journey as you ride – “From the moment the doors close until they reopen 47 seconds later on the 102nd floor, a seemingly three-dimensional time-lapse panorama will unfold on three walls of the elevator cabs, as if one were witnessing 515 years of history unfolding at the tip of Manhattan Island.”

Starting in the bedrock under the city and following its development – buildings and bridges appear from the marshland and the skyline grows with familiar buildings and history unfolds before your eyes. The World Trade towers appear for 4 seconds (the time is proportional to the time they stood) and then silently disappear. This elevator may become the most popular ride in New York City. So clever. Watch the ride below:

(via The New York Times)