Tower construction started
The Freedom Tower to be built
at the site of the devastated World Trade Center
in Lower Manhattan is still planned as the world’s
tallest building, according to a revised model
unveiled by the architects collaborating on
The tower, to be a centerpiece
of the rebuilding plan for the World Trade Center
site, is to rise 1,776 feet -- a nod to the
year the United States declared its independence.
The height was originally proposed a year ago
by architect Daniel Libeskind, since designated
the site’s master planner.
In addition, a broadcast antenna
attached to the tower is to bring the structure’s
total height above 2,000 feet.
The tower’s angular shape and
appearance has been altered as a result of Libeskind’s
work with David Childs, the architect for real
estate developer Larry Silverstein, the trade
center leaseholder who aspires to replace all
10 million square feet of commercial space lost
in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Freedom Tower is to rise 70 floors
and be topped by wind-harvesting turbines that
designers predict will provide 20 percent of
the building’s energy.
The tower’s height of 1,776 feet,
symbolic for the year of American independence,
includes a 276-foot spire.
The torqued tower -- its east
and west sides twist as they rise -- and the
spire are meant to echo the Statue of Liberty
in New York Harbor.
The tower is to have a concrete
core and be encased in a steel cable netting
that will brace the building. Childs likened
the cables to suspension bridge cables, such
as those holding up the Brooklyn Bridge.
The building is to include 2.6
million square feet of commercial space, which
would be on the market when the tower is completed
Silverstein said he is not worried
that no tenants are yet committed to move in.
“We have a hiatus of five years
before the building is finished. It’s early
to be talking about occupancy five years hence,”
Silverstein said. “However, there are sufficient
number of discussions with potential major space
users, with significant needs in excess of a
million square feet.”
Charles Gargano, the vice chairman
of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,
the transportation agency that built the original
trade center and owns the 16-acre site, said
the agency would occupy as much as a third of
Gargano estimated the tower’s
construction would cost $1.5 billion, or $1
million per 500 square feet.
Besides the public lobby, two
concourse levels will house retail stores and
provide pedestrian access to mass transit.
More than 60 floors will contain
office space, capped by an indoor observation
deck, a restaurant above that, and event space