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Thread: 7 World Trade Center - by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

  1. #571

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    Is it a masterpiece? Obviously not. But living in the BPC for the last three years with this giant hole in the sky, I have loved watching the building go up. Kudos to Larry Silverstein for putting his wallet on the line rather than timidly waiting for market demand to catch up to his ambitions.

  2. #572

  3. #573

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    At this point,I would have to concur with those who think #7 is rather bland,just another PM glass box.
    I was disappointed that,given the site's history and the attention that the area will attract,the building lacks the imagination to become a set piece in the WTC rebuilding effort.
    Oh,well,maybe the Deutschebank replacement will have some architectural significance.One out of 2 wouldn't be bad.
    Last June,I walked all around 7's construction site and tried,but failed to notice any obvious difference from dozens of similar structures scattered around Manhattan.
    Silverman had promised a "glittering jewelbox":he's delivered another skyline yawn.
    Hopefully,as mentioned above,there is going to be an interesting cap to the tower,or maybe the ground floors will have some special attribute.
    At least there's a token Greenwich St.

  4. #574

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    is the steel skelet already finished? and has the building reached his top?

  5. #575
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    Yes it is topped off. That ceremony was months ago.

  6. #576

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    January 12, 2005

    More Borrowing Clout for Ground Zero Developer

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    The developer Larry A. Silverstein was authorized yesterday by the New York City Industrial Development Agency to borrow an extra $75 million through tax-exempt Liberty Bonds for his $1.355 billion 7 World Trade Center project.

    Mr. Silverstein won preliminary approval two years ago for $400 million in Liberty Bonds but returned to the agency facing higher interest costs and having received less of an insurance payout than he expected. Seven World Trade Center, a silvery 52-story parallelogram across Vesey Street from the main trade center site, is to open early next year. It is already clad almost completely in glass but does not yet have any prospective tenants except Silverstein Properties.

    That 7 World Trade Center is rising at all is "thanks in large part to the Liberty Bond program," said Andrew M. Alper, who is chairman of the agency, which unanimously approved the financing. He is also president of the city Economic Development Corporation.

    The agency expects Mr. Silverstein, who holds the commercial lease on the main trade center site, to return soon to seek $3.5 billion in Liberty Bonds for the other office towers planned on the site. If granted, that would represent nearly 90 percent of all remaining Liberty Bond financing for commercial projects in New York City.

    The advantage of Liberty Bonds to borrowers is that lenders accept lower interest rates because the proceeds are exempt from federal, state and city taxes.

    Since Mr. Silverstein first applied for financing, the estimated total project cost has risen to $1.355 billion from $1.196 billion. The largest single item is $516 million to pay off the mortgage on the previous 7 World Trade Center, which Mr. Silverstein developed and owned. It burned and collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, hours after the attack.

    The rest of the budget includes so-called hard construction costs of $378.3 million; soft costs like architectural fees and insurance, $119.5 million; the building of tenant space, $131.8 million; interest, $179 million; and operating expenses, $30.5 million.

    Much of the financing - $819 million - is to come from insurance proceeds. This is $42 million less than the face value of the policy, which reflects a settlement between Mr. Silverstein and the building's insurer, according to the agency.

    The rest of the financing will come from $475 million in Liberty Bonds, $3.94 million in interest income from the insurance proceeds and a $57.23 million investment by 7 World Trade Company, which is owned by Mr. Silverstein and his wife, Klara.

    Because of delays in retiring the mortgage, Mr. Silverstein faced a $113 million increase in interest expense. According to an analysis by the development corporation, a delay in arranging bond financing and the need to keep insurance proceeds available for construction on an interim basis "has postponed the use of those insurance funds to pay off the existing mortgage."

    Under federal law, Liberty Bonds cannot be used to satisfy an existing mortgage. Instead, the bond financing will pay both for current construction costs and to reimburse Mr. Silverstein for construction costs that he has already paid with insurance proceeds.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  7. #577

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    7 WTC, Woolworth Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. 17 January 2005.


  8. #578

    Default 09/01/05


  9. #579

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    what are those 2 lines coming down the bldg?
    Doesn't even really wow me!

  10. #580

  11. #581

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    Will the scrolling text be there 24/7? If so, I like it! Interesting feature for D'town!

  12. #582

  13. #583
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    posted on SSP:

    February 8, 2005
    by ANDY MARTIN

    “THE REAL WORLD TRADE CENTER MEMORIAL”


    (NEW YORK)(February 8) Since September 11, 2001 politicians have fallen over themselves to milk every ounce of personal profit from that horrible tragedy. One of the most obscene spectacles has been the continuing carnival over a suitable World Trade Center (WTC) “memorial.” Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Governor George Pataki have drained the surviving families of any and every conceivable emotional energy by making extravagant promises that the World Trade Center is “hallowed ground” and must be preserved vacant for posterity. What nonsense.

    Pataki and Giuliani have done everything to sabotage reconstruction of the original Twin Towers, or a reasonable commercial facsimile. Instead, they have--after much emotional hand wringing and propaganda--settled on a “Freedom Tower,” a vapid edifice that may never be built, and may collapse of its own inertia if it ever is built.

    Adding to the tragicomedy is the flatulent self-promoting “architect” Daniel Liebeskind, brought in by Pataki to supervise the reconstruction, until the landlord’s architect, David Childs, dumped him. It has been a serial comedy with continuing installments.

    I have a very special relationship to the WTC because thanks to the Port Authority of NY/NJ I was one of the earliest tenants in Two WTC, moving in January 1, 1974. I watched the attacks on 9/11 and spent time that evening near the cauldron. I have observed the Giuliani-Pataki political charade with disgust.

    But, silently, almost stealthily, a real memorial to the World Trade Center tragedy and the people of New York has been under construction and is nearing completion: Seven World Trade Center (7WTC).

    The original 7WTC was Mayor Giuliani’s emergency fuhrer-bunker and collapsed because of poor design.

    Unlike a pending insurance dispute over the Twin Towers themselves, the insurance for Seven WTC was in order. Mr. Silverstein got his money promptly. After some negotiation with city officials, reconstruction began on a new and vastly improved 7WTC.

    The building is taller than the original, leaner, and infinitely more elegant, almost sensuous. It “towers” over the empty Twin Towers site, looking down contemptuously at vacant land that has remained fallow because of craven political manipulation and incompetence. Seven WTC is a proud building, a striking building, and a real building.

    7WTC is not some architecture-student’s class project, like the Liebeskind-Childs monstrosity “Freedom Tower.” The new 7WTC will be a silent but powerful testament to both the victims whose lives were extinguished, and to the ability of Americans to reconstruct in a reasonable commercial manner. The Giuliani-Pataki political grandstand operation has cheapened the sacrifice of the police and firefighters who died and the innocent people who perished on 9/11.

    I looked at Seven WTC this evening and was stunned by its beauty. I like tall buildings, shining boldly in the dark. And it’s only half built. It won’t open to tenants until 2006. But the landlord, Larry Silverstein, has scored a knockout: he has built a better building, a commercially viable (i.e. profitable) structure, and he has created in his silent tower a memorial that speaks to the empty caverns below and solemnly reflects the cries of those whom eternity has called to be remembered for their sacrifice on 9/11.

    Will people move in to 7WTC? Of course they will. All of the post 9/11 fears about high floors in tall buildings is so much rubbish. Donald Trump would die to market condos on the top 20 floors of a 120-story structure. People would line up to move in. It’s only human nature. We paper over the past and move on, and up.

    I believe Seven WTC will be a successful building. It will make money and that, after all, is the reason for erecting an office building. Reconstruction was meant to reconstruct, not to provide a grandstand for Giuliani and Pataki to preen and flaunt their national political ambitions.

    It is surprising that a landlord, Larry Silverstein, who never had any pretensions of building an eleemosynary mausoleum when he began the new Seven WTC, inadvertently created the ultimate memorial to the victims that New Yorkers will honor and prefer. People will ultimately reject the maudlin memorial planned for the vacant space that was once the vibrant commercial community of the WTC.

    Am I against/have I ever been against a small, dignified memorial, tucked quietly in some corner of the site, reminding visitors of the great horror that took place? Not at all. But dedicating the entire WTC site to a perpetually vacant “memorial,” or making “memory” the centerpiece of the reconstructed WTC site, or chopping up the super-site to create “mini” cuts and jabs in the original layout, insult New York and insult the American people.

    Americans are vibrant and, yes, powerful precisely because we pick ourselves up from tragedy and move along. Promptly. We do not mourn endlessly or excessively. Breast beaters and professional mourners do not enjoy acceptance in our great nation. We are alive, and we want to remain alive. We rebuild, bigger and better than before. We do not cower in the face of tyrants; never have, never will. That is why the ludicrous, ridiculous “memorials” skillfully orchestrated by craven politicians will never gain public acceptance at the World Trade Center.

    Let’s rebuild office buildings and real commercial structures, with at least as much space as before, and even more if we can squeeze it in. That is in the spirit of New York, and it is the spirit of America.

    Truly, the real memorial to the victims is rising. It is Seven WTC. Well done, Larry.

    politicalgateway.com

  14. #584
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anrew Martin
    ...It is surprising that a landlord, Larry Silverstein, who never had any pretensions of building an eleemosynary mausoleum when he began the new Seven WTC, inadvertently created the ultimate memorial to the victims that New Yorkers will honor and prefer. People will ultimately reject the maudlin memorial planned for the vacant space that was once the vibrant commercial community of the WTC.

    Am I against/have I ever been against a small, dignified memorial, tucked quietly in some corner of the site, reminding visitors of the great horror that took place? Not at all. But dedicating the entire WTC site to a perpetually vacant “memorial,” or making “memory” the centerpiece of the reconstructed WTC site, or chopping up the super-site to create “mini” cuts and jabs in the original layout, insult New York and insult the American people...
    7 WTC is a memorial of sorts as the first building out of the ground, a replacement better than the original, learning from engineering and design mistakes ofthe past, and understanding that urban life is derived and dependent upon pedestrian traffic, street level ammenities, and community integration.

    The absence of Giuliani and Pataki on the commission to raise funds for the memorial speaks for itself. As far as the community evolving to prefer a tasteful little memorial amidst a rebuilt city-grid, the idea with no real sense of what we had in the original WTC. At street level the WTC was horrendous. Nothing about it was inviting, aesthetically pleasing, or relevant to its surroundings. What people miss is the icon of the twin towers on the skyline, not anything about the rest of the place. And if anyone does, start listing the charms of the WTC you miss.

    What is desired is a total revisting of the 16 acres in a way that takes into consideration that the antiquated idea of geographically isolated "Business Districts" don't work in New York - and arguably in any other city. Midtown thrives because it is integrated commercial / residential / retail with excellent mass transit. The old WTC was a contributor to the decline of downtown. It isolated BPC from lower Manhattan, was empty on weekends, provided no street level interaction, and focused retail space solely on the building occupants and passing community (creating a separate but completely transient customer base). And finally, it was treated as a "site" exclusive of any surroundings in which to keep it in context.

    I don't agree for a minute that anyone, including the "rebuild the towers" crowd want what we had at street level. They want the height - that's it. But, "Reflecting Absence" was a perfect name for the WTC plaza prior to its demise. The idea of a grand memorial is reasonable in the immediate aftermath, but in securing the large parcel of space for it, the community is guaranteed a large swath of greenery in the years after 9/11 drops as a hot-button politcal phrase.

    The "master plan" in its building placement seems to work for now. But, it without any residential component - perhaps by introducing mixed use towers instead of purely commercial ones, the area is still destined for a certain alienation from the rest of downtown and deserted streets after dark.

    The plan is evolving in the right direction. The first rebuilt building is better than the last. Pedestrian access has been improved. We will get improved mass transit and a reimplementation of the street grid. Now we need to have residents fillout the plan, rather than creating a series of buildings standing like cold defiant sentinals. Integration was missing before and it is missing now. Any type of major mall proposed should be vigorously rejected and the continued plan to create vast commercial towers should evolve to bring residential life - not transient visitors and workers - to the site.

  15. #585
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    Anybody know if the new 7 WTC has more than 3 exit stairwells? I don't suppose the new building would even come close to New York City's 1938 fire code, but anything over the 1960s-era fire code would be an improvement.

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