Thursday, November 14, 2013

At Long Last, Celebrations at Ground Zero

There have been moments -- many moments -- when it seemed the rebuilding effort at the World Trade Center site might never be finished. But this week, more than twelve years since the 9/11 attacks, two important milestones for lower Manhattan are reasons to celebrate. 

One World Trade Center, which has dominated the headlines about the 16-acre site's redevelopment, has been officially recognized as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Now, attention turns to its sister tower, the 978-foot-tall 4 World Trade Center, which officially opened its doors on Wednesday. The long-awaited tower is the first to open in the new World Trade Center complex at ground zero.

4 World Trade Center

Another office tower has opened at the Ground Zero site in lower Manhattan.

A ceremony was held Wednesday for the 978-foot 4 World Trade Center. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer were on hand to cut the ribbon.

The tower, all 72 stories and 2.5 million square feet of it, cost $1.2 billion and took nearly four years to build.

4 WTC sits on the southern boundary of the complex and features a dramatic lobby with soaring 46-foot tall ceilings and a wall of black granite that provides a mirror-like reflection of the World Trade Center plaza and National September 11 Memorial.

[See ElectricWeb | Blogger, June 22, 2012]

The opening of the property will also mark the rebirth of a stretch of Greenwich Street that was eliminated more than 40 years ago to make way for the original Trade Center complex.

Check out these amazing photos

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which lost its home in the twin towers during the 2001 terror attacks, expects to move into the 72-story building in 2015. The official opening means it can start building out its new office space.

4 World Trade Center faces the 9/11 Memorial's south reflecting pool, near 1 World Trade Center -- formerly known as the Freedom Tower. That tower was declared the nation’s tallest this week and is expected to open next year.

7 World Trade Center, a 49-story 741-foot tower located a block north of Ground Zero, opened in 2006.

The Verdict is In: New York 1, Chicago 0

The long-running debate is finally over. But the tedious argument has only just begun.

The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat declared Tuesday that One World Trade Center is the nation's tallest building.

The 408-foot spire nudged 1 WTC over the top, despite the fact that the nation's now-second-tallest building—Chicago's 1,451-foot Willis Tower—eclipses the 1,368 feet of the 1 WTC building sans antenna.

Counting the mast, 1 World Trade Center soars to its full patriotic height of 1,776 feet.

The Council, which is the authoritative body on building heights, determined that the spire on 1 WTC was a structural component of the building. The antenna at the top of Willis Tower, on the other hand, was deemed communication components, mere afterthoughts from a structural point of view.

[See ElectricWeb | Blogger, Jan 7, 2013]
[See ElectricWeb | Blogger, May 16, 2012]

Stoking the uncertainty was a decision by the building's developers, a partnership between the Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to do away with an ornamental fiberglass sheathing envisioned by the building's architect, that more seamlessly integrated the antenna with the building's architecture.

Critics said the change was made to shave costs on the nearly $4 billion tower, which is the most expensive office building ever built.

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