GROUND ZERO, SEPTEMBER 2007
- September 9, 2007
With the sixth anniversary of the attack just days away, Ground
Zero is a busy construction site. There are now more than
600 construction workers busily preparing for the construction
of four buildings and all the peripheral that they demand.
It is not that no work has been going on, because much has
been accomplished. However, not noticeably above ground.
Political and financial wrangling has had a choke collar effect
on the building of, what many New Yorkers and Americans want to
be a thumb in the eye of the enemies.
The transit center that you cannot see when viewing the pit,
which is the main picture that the media usually gives us of
Ground Zero, is a wonderment.
Did you know that the streets of lower Manhattan are
virtually at sea-level, and the Freedom Tower's first four
pillars are anchored to the bedrock 70-feet below street level.
Retaining walls are crucial in keeping the waters of the Hudson
River out of the site, which will reach 7-stories below
The tip of Manhattan is in Upper New York Bay.
On it's east side is the East River, on it's west side the
mighty Hudson River; The Battery (named after the cannon battery
once used to guard the city from attack, has the water of the
Atlantic rushing in and out with the tide. Water, in this
city with so many underground facilities, is always a problem
The World Trade Center Transportation Hub will be
complete by 2011, but it is doing just fine right now, thank
you. Work began in September of 2005 on Santiago Calatrava's
$2.2 billion project, and it is nothing short of incredible.
This will be the home of PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson. Part
of the quasi governmental organization The Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey), and connect to 13 subway lines via the
Fulton Street Transit Center, as well as other terminals.
Commuters from Upstate New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as
well as business men from Washington, DC and all points south
and west using mass transit to lower Manhattan will find getting
around World Financial Center easy. Underground concourses not
only give great access to Lower Manhattan and beyond, also to
the many ferries.
August 5, 2005:
Update on Lower Manhattan Development of the World Trade Center
The last announcement form the Lower Manhattan Development
Corporation, the organization that manages lower Manhattan
projects and development for the city, headline read:
GOVERNOR PATAKI, MAYOR BLOOMBERG, LARRY SILVERSTEIN AND DAVID CHILDS RELEASE REVISED DESIGN FOR THE FREEDOM TOWER
1,776 Foot Tall Tower Will Emit Light from Spire as a New Beacon of Freedom
New Tower Will Evoke Classic New York Skyscrapers in Elegance and Symmetry
Bold, Sleek and Symbolic Design Speaks to Future While Solving Challenges of Modern Urban Environment
It appears from the pronouncement of
June 29, 2005 that a big change from the originally accepted
design is in the base. The base of the tower will be a
"cubic design" with a foot print of 200 feet by 200
feet (one square acre), the same footprint the Twin Towers
destroyed on September 11, 2001 in the attack on the United
States that has spurred this new world wide war against the
shadowy enemy, which has coined the phrase, Islamofascists.
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
|Governor Pataki said, "...today we see the result is a better, safer, and prouder symbol of freedom for our skyline.
This new design reflects a soaring tribute to freedom and a bedrock commitment to safety and
security. The Freedom Tower will not only be a tremendous icon, it will also be an economic engine generating thousands of jobs for New Yorkers."
The New York Governor went on to praise David Childs, who is
responsible for the changes and Daniel Libeskind, master site
planner for the rebuilding project that includes the
Mayor Bloomberg said, "It is also an important part of our vision to transform Lower Manhattan into a vibrant 24-hour residential and commercial neighborhood."
This is remarkable in a city with so many powerful and ambitious
politicians: each of the five counties (boroughs) that make up New
York City (all with huge populations) has a Borough
President There is also a City Council, which is populated
by many very aggressive and even radical members who are all known
for their ability to flexing their muscles.
An extremely important component to the World Trade Center site
is the transportation hub, of which few understand the real importance.
On June 28th, the day before the Freedom Tower proclamation
above, the announcement was made of a change in Spanish designer Santiago Calatrava's winged PATH
Station, a complex transit hub at the Trade Center site that
allows passengers from New Jersey and beyond to connect to
subways, busses and ferries to get to all points of the
city. The change in the PATH station, like the changes in
the Freedom Tower, addressed security. Of them Mr.
Calatrava said, "We preserved the transparency and the ethereal character of the
building." Basically, the changes to the
"Bird in Flight" design added more steel at the expense
complete announcement. SCROLL DOWN TO WORLD TRADE CENTER PROJECT
Trade Center Site May 18, 2005
A lot has happened since the final decision was made to
construct the Freedom Tower project and "building" began.
Well, a lot has happened except any construction on the
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
|The Freedom Tower Project was
supposed to be needle like tower rising 1776 feet into the
sky over Manhattan Island. It also had a couple of
lower towers with distinctive angled roofs.
Everyone, me too, thought things were moving
ahead, but the story broke this week that the NYPD had
security problems with the Freedom Tower.
Daniel Libeskind, World Trade Center master
site planner, had envisioned the height of the Freedom Tower
to represent the year of American independence, and the
spire itself to recall the raised arm of the Statue of
Liberty, which stands across the Hudson River from the site.
However, with reportedly "major changes" to the base of the
building and the layout of the site, Pandora's Box seems to
have been opened.
Twin Tower II Design
Kenneth Gardner and Herbert Belton
|Enter stage right, Donald
"Why are we building
this monstrous 'skeleton' known as Freedom Tower? If Freedom
Tower is built, the terrorists win." Mr. Turmp has
gotten behind the familiar look of Ken Gardner's. At
1858 feet (1 story higher than the original Twin Towers) Mr.
Gardner's phoenix like raising of the Twin Towers would be
the tallest building in the world.
Twin Towers II Design
by Kenneth Gardner and
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|As another great New Yorker, Yogi Berra,
once said, "It ain't over till it's over".
July 16, 2002, the Lower
Manhattan Development Corp. released 6 different plans for
the rebuilding of the site of the World Trade Center. This will be whittled to 3 in the next few months.
how much of the new project would be purely Memorial in nature
covers the full spectrum of possibilities.
An example is the difference between Governor
Potaki and Mayor
George Potaki, Michael Bloomberg was not in office at the time
of the attack that caused the demolition of what had been the
dominant feature of the New York skyline since the early 1970s,
however, Bloomberg has been a prominent figure in both New
York City and its financial district for many years.
Mayor Bloomberg is looking to replace the 11 million
square feet of office space lost on September 11, 2001, as well
as have a memorial. Governor
Potaki, on the other hand said in a recent speech that he was
committed to have a memorial only.
Not a few hard-nosed New Yorkers have gone to the extreme
of stating that New York should rebuild the towers even higher
than they were before, higher, in fact, than any other building.
It’s been too long since NYC has held the Tallest
Building in the World title, is the opinion of many of these
the plans released today seem all to be at varying points of
middle ground. The plans are all for multiple buildings,
between 4 and 6, with none of the structures reaching as high as
the 110 stories of the Twin Towers. Each plan has in
common a memorial to the victims of the terrorist attack, some
of whose remains it was said this week, may never be recovered.
common aspect of these proposals is a new public transportation
hub. Another fact worth noting is that New
York Cities Financial District is where many well to do
people work. Many of these people live in places pretty
far from lower Manhattan. Many live out of the
metropolitan area, which includes northern and central New
Jersey, in places as Connecticut and Pennsylvania. For
these people the morning commute is more that just a train ride,
but it entails a good drive to the train.
aside: I remember, I was a mere babe at the time, when Nelson
Rockefeller was Governor of New
York. He lived at the family estate in Sleepy
Hollow, then North Tarrytown, and took a boat, a
War II PT
Boat, to his offices in the City or up in Albany.
interesting points made by John Whitehead, Chairman of the Lower
Manhattan Development Corp. about:
relationship of these proposals to the end results:
The six plans are not final blueprints.
Each of the plans represents a package of proposed ideas.
These ideas can be mixed and matched and reconstituted based on public
Higgins, who is a spokesman for the LMDC, said that the release
of the 6 plans is a starting point for a dialogue. He
indicated that the next step would be to actively engage the public through as many different forums as possible.
2002 Joseph De Matteo all rights reserved.
Joe De Matteo