Almost twelve years after the devastating events on 9/11/01, the final two sections of the spire were placed atop the gleaming skyscraper at Ground Zero this morning. The official height is now a symbolic 1,776 feet.
With the cladding on the building nearing completion, it is easy to imagine what it will look like when finished. I personally believe NYC blew their opportunity to reclaim the skyline in an awesome way. This is too short, it took far too long to construct, and they allowed fear, politics, and greed to turn what could have been an amazing piece of architecture into a mediocre skyscraper.
When renders were released last year showing some significant design changes to One World Trade Center, many followers of the project were greatly disappointed. An ugly antenna replaced the modern spire, and the tapered edges of the base which reflected the isosceles triangles in the upper body of the building had been removed in favor of a boring and basic cube.
Although the official word was that both changes were related to either safety or maintenance, the truth seems to be neither. Esquire’s recent in-depth article might reveal the true reason for the changes.
As the estimate for completing the tower rose past $3 billion, the PA struck a deal in 2010 with a city real estate developer, the Durst Organization, to help finish, manage, and lease the tower: For $100 million, Durst received a 10 percent equity interest in the building, plus a $15 million management contract that gave Durst 75 percent of any monies saved by cutting construction costs up to $12 million, and a mere 50 percent of every penny cut thereafter.
To nobody’s surprise and David Childs’s despair, Durst found costs to cut, particularly at the top and bottom of the tower. The prismatic glass chosen to wrap the base of the building was replaced with a cheaper version, requiring that the corners of the tower’s first two hundred feet be squared off after those corners had already been tapered to meet the thousand-foot isosceles triangles of the curtain wall. Then Durst took its meat-ax to the tower’s 408-foot spire: By simply scrapping the radome — a sculpted shell of fiberglass and steel designed to sheathe the antennae and maintenance platforms atop the building — shazam! $20 million saved.
Read more: World Trade Center Rebuild Budget – Scott Raab Series On Ground Zero – Esquire
It is a shame that the centerpiece of rebuilding at Ground Zero has lost so much of its appeal because of greed, but perhaps good old greed makes this tower even more of an American symbol.
One World Trade Center (1WTC) also known to many as the Freedom Tower became the tallest building in New York City this afternoon when it surpassed the legendary Empire State Building. Already over 100 stories, the skyscraper won’t top out until sometime next year when a 400+ foot spire is placed atop the building.
Here are a few of the photos I snapped of the gorgeous skyscraper at Ground Zero a couple of weeks ago.
Here are some amazing shots of the work going on inside the skyscraper at Ground Zero as it nears top-out.
And a current photo of the site under construction…
These amazing photos are from the One World Trade Center tower at Ground Zero in New York that is nearing completion. These are from around the 90th floor and the crane operator’s vantage point.
I don’t have a source for these, but they were posted on SkyscraperCity.