Skip to comments.First Rebuilt Skyscraper at WTC Opens (Eat This, Bin Laden)
Posted on 05/23/2006 5:57:25 PM PDT by new yorker 77
The first destroyed skyscraper to be rebuilt since Sept. 11 opened Tuesday but attracted few tenants, despite offering state-of-the-art safety features that developers say will be part of all office towers to rise at the World Trade Center site.
Developer Larry Silverstein officially opened the 52-story 7 World Trade Center for business by unveiling a sculpture outside the building and hosting a concert featuring Lou Reed and Suzanne Vega.
"We've come a very long way," said Silverstein, who built the first 7 World Trade Center nearly 20 years ago and has struggled to rebuild destroyed office space at the 16-acre site for more than four years. "What you're looking at today is just the beginning."
The building at 7 World Trade Center was the third to collapse on Sept. 11, 2001, after the twin towers. Like the trade center, it is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and leased by Silverstein.
The shimmering glass tower was redesigned by David Childs, the same architect who designed the yet-to-be-built 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, which is intended as the replacement to the trade center. Silverstein, in an elaborate renegotiation of his 99-year lease of the towers, agreed last month to shift control of the Freedom Tower and another building to the Port Authority, while retaining control of three other buildings at ground zero.
Including 7 World Trade Center, the trade center site lost more than 10 million square feet of office space on Sept. 11. But new tenants have not been clamoring to return. Silverstein has rented less than a fifth of 7 World Trade's 1.7 million square feet. He moved in his development company's offices this week, while three architects who are designing the towers planned for ground zero will set up shop on another floor.
Ameriprise Financial Inc., a spinoff of American Express, and the New York Academy of Sciences plan to move in by fall. A Chinese developer, Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co. Ltd., signed a tentative agreement to rent the top five floors. Officials said Tuesday's opening is a sign of downtown's resurgence.
"It's going to be filled, and it's going to be filled soon," said Kenneth Ringler, the Port Authority's executive director.
Following recommendations to make high-rises safer after the terrorist attacks, the skyscraper adheres to "a set of standards unique to any high-rise office building in America," Silverstein said.
The building is narrower and lets in more sunlight than its original version. An artist installed oversized, moving text that tells New York stories in the lobby. It is the first commercial tower in New York City to be certified as "green" by the U.S. Green Building Council because it uses less electricity and has high-efficiency cooling and heating systems. And it has adopted newer safety standards, with wider stairwells and 2-foot-thick concrete walls.
On the Net:
7 World Trade: http://www.wtc.com/inner_page.aspx?id11
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
I believe it's five stories higher than the original #7.
Old WTC 7 was 47 Floors.
Old WTC 7 - 570 ft
New WTC 7 - 741 ft
Good news - thanks!
I wish Todd Beamer and all of the others on all the flights could be around to see this!
Then I was right. :D
They are. They just have a better view than we folks do. ;-)
I was reading something yesterday about how three very different architecture teams have been brought in to design the three buildings next to the freedom tower.
Each team will be designing one of the buildings, but all will be working together in the same offices to make sure the three buildings fit together.
Hopefully, they can produce something truely great, and get this project back on track.
According to Charlie Sheen, yes. He's an expert in such matters.
"They are. They just have a better view than we folks do. ;-)"
God bless you, friend.
"God bless you, friend."
Most kind of you. God bless you, too. :-)
We had two towers and now we'll have one. Won't Muslims still view this as a win for them? We all know that two is better than one.
it's really a very nice building; the effect of the exterior is striking!
something about politics and strange bedfellows comes to mind. Sorry I missed Lou.
>>>The public has heard plenty about the "empty pit of Ground Zero," but most do not know that the $2.8 billion allocated to Lower Manhattan in cash grants has virtually all been spent. It is difficult to trace where all the money went while being routed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and six different city and state entities. Now, after four-and-a-half years of press conferences, ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings (the Freedom Tower has had two), at which the lost 343 firefighters were invoked and the memorial and museum was touted as the "centerpiece" around which hundreds of millions of dollars in spending projects would turn, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have teamed up to tell the public that it's time to "rethink" the project where the history of those valiant firefighters will be secured. Not only does this undermine Daniel Libeskind's master plan, which always included a museum of "memory and hope," it also manifests a standard of fiscal responsibility that the governor and the mayor have refrained from imposing anywhere else at Ground Zero. <<<<
Where is the memorial?
BY DEBRA BURLINGAME
Tuesday, June 6, 2006 9:00 a.m. EDT
I am an ironworker. I held you in my hands.
I did not know who you were and now I am showered clean . . . yet I still feel dirty. I don't know why, but I feel ashamed. WHO WERE YOU?
--Anonymous message, left at Ground Zero.
They came and would not leave, an army of ironworkers and heavy-equipment operators, stopping only when the scent-trained dogs barked out a signal. They cut and moved twisted steel and steaming concrete, clearing an astonishing 1.8 million tons in a continuous convoy of trucks and a 20,000-barge armada. The last steel beam, covered from top to bottom with handwritten prayers and messages of hope from those who worked the site, was hauled away in a solemn site-closing ceremony that left grown men weeping quietly. "The Pile" was cleared in eight-and-a-half months. Only then did they go home, different men. Who will tell their story?
The answer depends on whether we believe we have a stake in a future we will not live to see. Today, a handful of people are considering how the history of 9/11 will be preserved for future generations. Will it be scattered all over the globe, eroded by small museums, cannibalized by private collectors, or simply lost forever?
From the giant steel facades that broke but did not fall to the thousands of "Missing" flyers that speak of humanity as no granite monument can; from the harrowing digital footage to the oral histories that provide a mosaic of facts as detailed and compelling as a thousand handmade quilts; these are the pieces that make up our generation's "Day of Infamy." Preserving that history is both the mission and the moral imperative of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum--if we build it.
The decision lies in one man's hands: New York Gov. George E. Pataki. It is that simple. Advisory councils, stakeholder meetings and a public comment period notwithstanding, if Gov. Pataki agrees with 87% of the respondents in last year's Zogby poll, stating that 9/11 was "the most historic event of their lifetime" that "changed the way Americans live and view the world," then he will step up and mark that history--or answer to those same people. And he will have one tough time doing it.
The American people, watching the horrific scenes in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, voiced nary a peep of dissent when the federal government handed over $21 billion in disaster relief--$18 billion in rebuilding bonds and tax credits, and $2.8 billion in immediate cash grants--to the state and city of New York. The desire to raise buildings and bring back neighborhoods and businesses far from their own communities is powerful proof of the generosity of a people whose hearts were broken but whose resolve was not.
The public has heard plenty about the "empty pit of Ground Zero," but most do not know that the $2.8 billion allocated to Lower Manhattan in cash grants has virtually all been spent. It is difficult to trace where all the money went while being routed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and six different city and state entities. Now, after four-and-a-half years of press conferences, ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings (the Freedom Tower has had two), at which the lost 343 firefighters were invoked and the memorial and museum was touted as the "centerpiece" around which hundreds of millions of dollars in spending projects would turn, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have teamed up to tell the public that it's time to "rethink" the project where the history of those valiant firefighters will be secured. Not only does this undermine Daniel Libeskind's master plan, which always included a museum of "memory and hope," it also manifests a standard of fiscal responsibility that the governor and the mayor have refrained from imposing anywhere else at Ground Zero.
The Port Authority's massive new transportation hub, designed by superstar architect Santiago Calatrava, will cost an estimated $2.2 billion. Some $2 billion of that is federal money, which means that the entire country is supporting the "awe-inspiring" makeover of a terminal that will serve a mere 40,000 commuters (a number so embarrassing the Port Authority upped it to 80,000 by including round trips). The chief executive of a construction firm involved in the building illustrates the absurdity of what insiders call a "vanity project" by pointing out that $2.2 billion is enough to build a metropolitan airport.
The governor has also handed out hundreds of millions in relief money to corporate powerhouses, ostensibly to get them to relocate to Lower Manhattan or to prevent them from leaving. He signed off on $25 million worth of recovery funds for American Express, which expressly announced it hadn't intended to leave Lower Manhattan and posted doubled profits less than a year after 9/11. Goldman Sachs, which made $4.55 billion dollars in net profits in 2004, received a $2 billion "assistance" package consisting of triple-tax-free Liberty Bonds, tax credits and cash the following year.
Mr. Bloomberg talks about a "sensible" approach to Ground Zero rebuilding, but has declined to fully explain his allocation of $650 million dollars worth of Liberty Bonds to construct the Bank of America tower in midtown, an allocation that competes with downtown redevelopment; or why he awarded $114 million in Liberty Bonds to the Ratner office tower--in Brooklyn.
The mayor has suggested locating the World Trade Center Museum in the controversial Freedom Tower, declaring it "a good use of that lobby." To put the story of that day in another commercial office tower is an insult to the memory of the 3,000 who died and to the thousands who barely escaped. Would the Holocaust Museum be treated as an afterthought and crammed into such a space? Moreover, why would any commercial tenant be attracted to a building that will be the destination of as many as 20,000 to 30,000 tourists per day?
The mayor's proposal was promptly embraced by New York's cultural elite--the same folks who were despondent over the loss, last fall, of the International Freedom Center and its slavery exhibits. The New York Times editorial page went so far as to suggest that the 9/11 museum is not really necessary since "most of us remember that day very clearly." The same paper, in contrast, published six hyperventilating editorials last year, telling us that the Freedom Center must be built on sacred ground to provide the memorial with "historical context," albeit one that didn't include a word about terrorism.
Interestingly, the no-museum proponents have uniformly invoked the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington as an example of a simple and appropriate remembrance. While it eventually became accepted as a locus of healing, "The Wall" was controversial when it opened in 1982 in no small part because of its failure to tell the story of the war. Jan Scruggs, founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, recognizes that when the contemporaries of that war are gone, the 58,000 names carved in granite will not resonate with future generations. To remedy this, he sought and won congressional approval to build a museum that will tell the story of the war and those who fought it.
Ironically, the designer of the Vietnam memorial, Maya Lin, was a member of the World Trade Center Memorial jury and the most vocal advocate of the design that was eventually chosen, Michael Arad's "Reflecting Absence." Like Ms. Lin's Wall, Mr. Arad's design, consisting of reflecting pools and waterfalls with a random listing of 3,000 victims' names, says nothing about how they died or the historic event it is memorializing. Without the museum there will be nothing on the plaza, not even the iconic artifacts, to tell future visitors what actually happened on 9/11.
But let us not get too carried away with comparisons to other memorials. The Vietnam War did not take place on that grassy mall in Washington. Ground Zero is a historic battleground; and of the 2,755 who died there, 1,157 were vaporized without a trace.
The American people intuitively understand what the New York intelligentsia does not. They already stream to Ground Zero in the tens of thousands, signing up for tours to stand and look at the iron fence of St. Paul's Church across the street, now stripped of the faded flags, the personal tokens of remembrance and the hand-lettered messages of sympathy that poured in from all over the world. They shell out countless thousands of dollars for picture books and postcards bearing the images of the twin towers from the ragtag vendors who line the site's perimeter.
It is this humble assortment of Ground Zero entrepreneurs who have shown City Hall's economic development experts that it is possible to blend commerce and commemoration. And the Memorial Museum will help restore a standard of dignity, which will be more about providing a lasting remembrance than making a quick buck.
Yes, the $500 million price tag for the memorial and museum is steep, but the reality is that it was the terrorists who chose the most expensive building site in all the world for the location of their attack. That is where our people died and that is where we must build it--especially as the cost of not doing so is even higher.
This is an investment in the future that will allow visitors from all over the world the opportunity to see the contrast between those who died to take the lives of strangers, and those who gave their lives to save them. The millions who will make a pilgrimage to Ground Zero will surely enjoy the fine boulevards and piers that their own generosity provided, but the experience they most anticipate is not a frozen latte in Hudson River Park. They want to confront the reality of the day that changed their lives, and the world they once knew.
The World Trade Center Memorial and Museum will commemorate, educate and inspire. It will convey to future generations that we as a people are more than sleek neighborhoods and buildings. That is something our enemies did not understand and should be reflected in everything we do on that much-hallowed ground.
Governor, we're ready.
Ms. Burlingame, a director of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, is the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Flight 77, which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
Make your voice heard - let the politicians in New York spending YOUR money how you feel about their plans for spending it - let them know how important the 9/11 memorial AND the 9/11 museum are to you:
http://tinyurl.com/ourlo (NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg - (212) NEW-YORK)
http://220.127.116.11/govemail (NY Governor George Pataki - (518) 474-8390)
http://renewnyc.org/Memorial/frm_memcomments.asp (LMDC - (212) 962-2300)
http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=064 (NY Assemblyman Sheldon Silver - (518) 455-3791 or (212) 312-1420)
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm (Contact your Senator)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/ (Contact your Representative)
Please take the time today to call or write these politicians and let them know how your expect your tax dollars to be spent - building a fitting memorial and museum at ground zero.
Please see post 19
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.