NEW YORK - Broncos and Seahawks colors are bathing the top of the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Starting Wednesday, the orange lights for Denver and green lights for Seattle began to alternate on the spire of One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower.
The nearly-completed building stands beside the footprint of the Twin Towers, which is now a memorial to the lives lost on September 11, 2001. The new structure is 1,776 feet tall, meaning the lights of the Super Bowl teams can be seen for miles.
Once a winner is crowned Sunday, that team's colors will be locked in and displayed for the world to see.
Looking out from the windows that surround the 102nd floor, where construction work is still being done, a visitor could see for approximately 50 miles in the right conditions.
When completed in late spring of 2015, the 102nd floor will be the top of a three-story observation deck attraction called the One World Observatory. It is being developed by Legends Attractions, under contract with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and The Durst Organization.
"It is the most stunning view in the city and maybe, in all the world," said John Urban, vice president and general manager of the One World Observatory.
Urban accompanied 7NEWS anchor Anne Trujillo on a tour of the 102nd floor Wednesday. To enter the active construction site, Trujillo and Urban were required to put on hard hats and reflective vests. An escort from the Port Authority was also mandatory.
Inside the building, rough walls were exposed everywhere and many bore messages scribbled by the people who helped to build it. Some were prayers or messages to the past, while others were signatures of the workers proud to have rebuilt a strong structure on that particular site.
The Port Authority escort confided that at least one future tenant has considered encasing some of the signed structural supports in glass, rather than hiding it behind walls.
"Everyone will bring their own meaning to this building," Urban said, acknowledging that some will see a trip to the top as a kind of American pilgrimage.
But Urban says the experience of a visit to his envisioned One World Observatory will not be focused on the past. For that, he says, nothing could be more touching than the 9/11 museum and memorial.
Instead, the project's motto is "See Forever," referring to the distance of the view, the awe it can invoke and the permanence of the new building. Rather than a tribute to the buildings that fell, the observatory experience being planned will be a tribute to those who built the new building and all those who labored to make New York great since it was founded.
After riding to the top in an elevator that can climb as fast as 2,000 feet per minute, the first view visitors will get through the windows of the 102nd floor will be toward the north, along the island of Manhattan. It is a breathtaking view, as Urban showed Trujillo on Wednesday.
During the course of the tour and interview, the sun set and cast shadows from the lower buildings below. Pink and orange hues lit the construction materials that filled all but narrow paths around the floor. By the time the tour was done, the lights had come on to illuminate the other buildings in the city.
"At any time of day, the space evolves," Urban said.
Evolves -- just like the skyline of New York, or the game so many visitors have come to the city to see.