Designers and architects spent more than a year rendering sketches and organizing public forums. Last week, New Yorkers finally got what they were waiting for — a decision regarding the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. selected a $320 million proposal by Daniel Libeskind, a 56-year-old architect. The “Memory Foundations” plan features a 1,176 ft tall spire, which will become the tallest building in the world. Libeskind, the designer of the $40 million Jewish museum in Berlin, also incorporated a museum, cultural facilities and memorial garden in his plans for the 16-acre site.
A slurry wall borders Ground Zero, which now resembles the shape of a bathtub. To symbolize America's resilience, Libeskind left the wall exposed. He also conceptualized an open area called the Wedge of Light, a space within which no shadow will fall between 8:46 a.m., when the first tower fell, to 10:28 a.m., when the second tower fell on Sept. 11.
Tony Mann, president of Long Island City, N.Y.-based E-J Electric Installation Co., says he's looking forward to the start of construction on the site.
“I think that it's a great memorial to the people that were lost at the World Trade Center,” Mann says. “It will be a great uplift for downtown Manhattan and a big boost for construction in New York.”
E-J Electric, which wired and maintained the security system for the World Trade Center, is rebuilding the substations in the underground levels of No. 7 World Trade. Their work will be wrapped up in summer 2003 and construction will then begin on the actual tower. Unlike the other World Trade Center buildings, the construction schedule was accelerated on No. 7 World Trade because the same architect and contractor who designed the original building are involved with the rebuilding.
“They broke ground on No. 7 World Trade a year after Sept. 11, but they were reusing a lot of what they had there already,” he says. “The World Trade Center project, however, would probably take two years to get started because it's an entirely new project. I don't think it's going to happen all of a sudden. When they do get started, however, multiple parties will be involved with the project on all ends. It's going to be a huge project.”