Even though New York City’s skyline is one of the most recognizable in the world, it did not always feature skyscrapers. Over the years, the city has witnessed significant growth and undergone several changes with an increasing number of skyscrapers or high-rise apartment buildings and offices springing up. The rise in the number of steel and glass skyscrapers highlights the predominant role that elevators play in the lives of NYC’s residents.

According to a report in The New York Times, people can now enjoy a magnificently realistic view of the Old 1 World Trade Center beginning May in a most unlikely place – the five special elevators servicing the observatory at the top of the New 1 World Trade Center.

By taking a simple ride to the top of 1 World Trade Center – the “sky pod” elevator windows will show a time-lapse footage of New York’s skyline Elevator Ride to the Top of 1 World Trade Centerevolution from the 1500s to the present. Pressing the lift button for the top floor will educate the public on what the city’s famous skyline looked like through history via time-lapse photography.

Elevators traveling to the observatory are walled with nine 75-inch large high-definition monitors in each cab made to look like windows. From the moment the lift doors close, a three-dimensional time-lapse panorama will unfold on the three walls of the lift cabs, showing images of how the city changed over the centuries. Ascending at more than 10m per second to 1,268ft above the sidewalk, the 47 seconds lift ride to the 102nd floor will portray 515 years of history unfolding at the tip of Manhattan Island.

The observation deck offering a 360-degree view of the current New York City skyline at 1 World Trade Center will be open to the public on May 29.