View Poll Results: Construction is underway, how do you feel about the final design for the WTC site?

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  • I am more than satisfied; I believe that the final design surpasses that of the original World Trade Center. 10/10

    50 26.04%
  • While nothing may ever live up to the Twin Towers, I am wholly satisfied with the new World Trade Center; it is a new symbol for a new era. 7/10

    55 28.65%
  • I have come to terms with the new World Trade Center; although it has a number of flaws, I find the design to be acceptable. 5/10

    48 25.00%
  • I am wholly disappointed with the New World Trade Center; we will live to regret the final design. 0/10

    22 11.46%
  • I am biased, but honest, and hate anything that is not a reincarnation of the original Twin Towers.

    17 8.85%
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Thread: World Trade Center Developments

  1. #901

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    December 16, 2004

    BLOCKS

    Freedom Tower Site Poised for a Game of Inches

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    FORGET, for a moment, the Wedge of Light, the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower spire and the birdlike wings of the crystalline train station.

    Though the public imagination has been fired by images of a shimmering city in the sky, the new World Trade Center is actually being designed from the ground down, where there is not a cubic inch to spare.

    In fact, the complexity of accommodating all the claims to that space - memorial, memorial center, twin-tower footprints, exposed slurry wall, PATH station, subway tunnel, shopping concourses, pedestrian passageways, central air-cooling plant, ramps and roadways, bus and car garages, vehicle screening points, loading docks, storage areas, pipe galleries, ventilation ducts, foundation walls and fan rooms - has proved to be one of the most daunting challenges yet in the reconstruction of ground zero.

    "It's a very tight site," said Kenneth J. Ringler Jr., who was appointed executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in October. "As a matter of fact, at my first meeting, I was shocked to find that everybody was arguing intensely over inches."

    The argument cannot be solved only through innovative engineering, although some remarkable structural legerdemain has been achieved. (Just how the 9/11 memorial will fit into this complex spatial puzzle will become clearer today with the announcement of its working design, expanding on the year-old conceptual renderings.)

    At its most basic level, the struggle over the infrastructure is a fight over money.

    Depending on what is included, the cost of this subterranean framework may easily exceed $2 billion. It will probably be no less than $1.5 billion. And there is no agreement yet on apportioning the bills for the biggest-ticket items - the roadways, air-cooling plant and foundation walls - that serve all the users on the site, including about 250,000 square feet of underground retail space.

    Financing will come largely from the Port Authority, which owns the trade center site; Silverstein Properties, the commercial leaseholder; and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is overseeing the memorial and cultural programs.

    But who, exactly, will pick up the check for what? "We are having on-going, productive discussions," said Kevin M. Rampe, president of the corporation.

    Time is closing in. Gov. George E. Pataki announced last month that excavation for the Freedom Tower would begin in February. No simple structure, this skyscraper will rise directly over the outbound PATH tracks and over utility lines that must be relocated around the tower's column footings. Making matters more complex, the tower will share the underground area with the performing arts center, which is only now being designed.

    It is difficult to look at a site as vast as the trade center foundation, known as the bathtub, and imagine it starved for space. But fixed elements like the PATH tracks dictate the location of the station, which dictates the location of the concourses, which dictate the location of mechanical space.

    In the push and pull over the mechanical systems for the station and concourses, the authority moved some space out of the basement of the Freedom Tower to lower the surrounding street level. But it also added space. Doing its own juggling, Silverstein took the building fitness center out of the basement. More room was needed.

    Meeting on the night of Nov. 22, the architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, working for Silverstein with the engineer Augustine A. DiGiacomo and his colleagues from Jaros Baum & Bolles, figured out they could double up some space and create a new sublevel with room for equipment that will serve the television transmission center more than 1,000 feet overhead.

    "It's been - and continues to be - a three-dimensional chess game," said Carl Galioto, a partner at Skidmore. "Really four-dimensional, when you bring in the fact that the trains have to keep running."

    Freedom Tower is the keystone in another critical part of the common infrastructure. Its basement levels will have to be reinforced by concrete shear walls to resist the tremendous lateral pressure against the north and west sides of the trade center foundation from groundwater, fed by the Hudson River. So if the tower's walls will partly benefit all the other buildings, how much - if anything - should other users pay for those walls?

    Another apportioning issue involves the air-cooling plant. When the site is fully developed, the authority said, the five office towers will account for about half the total demand for 40,000 tons of cooling capacity. (A ton of cooling equals 12,000 British thermal units an hour. For comparison's sake, a residential room air-conditioner may have a capacity of less than one ton, while a modest-sized house would require three or more tons.) The Freedom Tower alone will account for almost 10,000 tons.

    Given that the plant will probably be constructed in phases, perhaps inside a structural shell designed to handle the full amount of equipment, how much of the cost should Silverstein pay? And when?

    The authority estimates that tour buses bound for the memorial will account for roughly 75 percent of the peak-hour underground roadway use in the first years of operation, declining to 40 percent by 2015. The development corporation said traffic can be counted several ways, but in any case said that buses would account for no more than 57 percent of roadway use in 2009 and 12 percent in 2015.

    The corporation is adamant about limiting its contribution to elements that benefit the public, rather than commercial and retail users, while authority officials suggest that the entire subterranean roadway system is, in fact, a public benefit and an expression of public policy.

    Financing seems settled for the $2 billion PATH terminal and transportation hub. The authority expects to receive $1.7 billion from the Federal Transit Administration and $300 million from insurance proceeds. About 30 percent of the terminal cost involves the construction of 4,350 feet of pedestrian passageways.

    Despite the lack of resolution on overall financing, progress has been made in preparing the site for development. "What we've finally pinned down is the street-level plan," said Anthony G. Cracchiolo, the director of priority capital programs at the Port Authority.

    Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff called it a "collaborative though sometimes contentious process in which everyone was committed to moving forward aggressively."

    Perhaps most significantly from the city's standpoint, agreement was reached to move the main vehicle ramp from the north side of Liberty Street, on the edge of the memorial, to the south side, under the future Liberty Park. That will permit traffic on Liberty Street to run two ways and create a much wider buffer between the ramp and the memorial.

    To create headroom for the ramp and follow the land contour as it dips down, the west end of Liberty Park may end up 25 to 30 feet above street level. Also, the site of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Liberty Park will be farther east than its original building, which was destroyed on 9/11.

    The main stem of the underground roadway once was to have run along Church Street. It has been shifted to a route closer to Greenwich Street, allowing future utility connections to the office towers. Tenant car parking for the Freedom Tower, and the lifts to serve it, will be under or within the performing arts structure. But the theaters may end up being able to use some of those 300 parking spaces at night for patrons.

    The vexatious issue of bus parking, which stirred strong opposition last year when the Port Authority identified an area below the memorial as a possible garage, has been resolved for now by assigning 60 bus spaces to the B3 level under the PATH concourse and 20 spaces to the B3 level under Liberty Park.

    As to the security concerns posed by having buses parked below the station, Mr. Ringler of the Port Authority noted that the buses will have already gone through the checkpoint under Liberty Park. "No suspect vehicles can get beyond that point," he said.

    The concourse to the Winter Garden in Battery Park City has been lowered from the B2 level to the B3 level, on line with the PATH station mezzanine. This was necessary in part to clear a perpendicular path for a West Street-Route 9A underpass, but it also provides better pedestrian circulation and eliminates the need to relocate a large sewer, authority officials said.

    Just above ground, enough right-of-way has been left in the plan to permit the eventual restoration of Dey and Cortlandt Streets, between Church and Greenwich Streets. Beyond that, the city, which strongly favors such a restoration, and the Port Authority, which does not, have agreed to postpone a decision.

    An agreement has also been reached on a 60-foot separation between Freedom Tower and the performing arts center to the east. But parts of the center, which is being designed by Gehry Partners, may cantilever into that open space as far as 15 feet, as long as they are opposite unoccupied areas of Freedom Tower. A solution is to be arrived at by the architects.

    Given the complex issues, the charting of the trade center's future is in many ways in the engineers' hands now. "At the end of the day, most of these technical problems get solved by professionals," said Janno Lieber, the project director for Silverstein, "not by people whose names are in the papers."

    There is at least a greater sense of certainty about what will go where. For instance, before the Signature Theater Company and Joyce Theater Foundation were chosen as the performing arts tenants in June, planners did not know if they would have to allow for loading docks large enough to handle opera sets, said Carla Swickerath of Studio Daniel Libeskind, the master planners of the site.

    "When we're fighting in inches," she said, "we've gotten somewhere."



    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  2. #902
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    "To create headroom for the ramp and follow the land contour as it dips down, the west end of Liberty Park may end up 25 to 30 feet above street level. Also, the site of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Liberty Park will be farther east than its original building, which was destroyed on 9/11."

    I really hope that we don't end up with a massive wall on West Street at the west end of this park. 25-30 feet is very tall and not at all inviting and integrating with regard to West St, BPC, or even the neighboring buildings on West Street like the Marriott.

  3. #903
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    It could end up like the riverfront parks you see in Tudor City and Sutton Place. Or it could end up like Bryant Park pre-'90s renovation. Only time will tell.

  4. #904

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    December 17, 2004

    Elevated Park Could Face Ground Zero

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    A new plan to locate the main World Trade Center vehicle ramps under the future Liberty Park, across Liberty Street from ground zero, is already raising concerns downtown because it may force the park to become as high as a small hill.

    The location of the ramps on the south side of Liberty Street was approved yesterday by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation board as one of several amendments to the general project plan for the trade center site. But two downtown board members, Carl Weisbrod and Madelyn Wils, publicly expressed concern.

    While there seems to be general agreement that it makes more planning sense to build the ramps on the south side of Liberty Street than to build them on the north side - to allow two-way street traffic and to separate the ramps from the memorial - that decision has created its own problems.

    The ramps, which will lead to underground parking and loading docks for the giant complex, will have to accommodate the headroom needed for buses and trucks. And because the land drops as it approaches the Hudson River, the west end of the park may end up as a berm 25 to 30 feet above street level, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which will construct the ramps.

    "We plan to hire a landscape architect as part of the design phase of the project to address that issue," said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the authority. "We will do everything we can to make the berm at a level that everybody is happy with."

    Headroom requirements also dictate the closing of Cedar Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets. And the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church will be farther east than its original home on 155 Cedar Street, which was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Nicholas P. Koutsomitis, an architect in the firm RKK&G, which is preparing the master plan for the church, said, "The fact that we've moved closer to Greenwich Street is really an asset."

    He said: "We didn't want the church to compete with the mound and with the truck entrance."

    The general project plan was also amended to reflect the fact that it is no longer certain that a hotel and conference center will be built on the site of Tower 2, at Vesey and Church Streets. And 300,000 square feet of commercial development potential was moved from the Tower 5 site, south of Liberty Park, to the main trade center property, increasing office construction there to a possible 8.8 million square feet.

    But board members focused on Liberty Park. Ms. Wils, who is also the chairwoman of Community Board 1, said that as the ramp design evolves, "the sooner the landscape architect gets on board, before those decisions are made, the better off we are."

    Mr. Weisbrod, the president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, said he worried about the visual impact of a higher park on development to the south, across Cedar Street. The landmark 90 West Street building, at Cedar Street, is being converted into apartments. And a hotel is planned next door, at 130 Cedar Street.

    Kevin M. Rampe, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said the new ramp location had been identified as the best option in meetings with neighborhood residents, the community board and the city's Transportation Department.

    He said the corporation would work with the Port Authority to ensure that the park design is "fitting and appropriate," adding that he could even imagine an inventive designer exploiting the unusual topography in a creative way.

    Asked about the possibility of a ski slope, however, he said, "If we reach that height, we've got a problem."

    Graphic: Liberty Park

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  5. #905

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    The old WTC site, northwest corner, 30 foot blank wall - dead zone.

    The 130 Cedar St address mentioned as a hotel site is the small, never discussed building on the southwest corner of Cedar and Washington - where the Amish Market was.

  6. #906

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    http://downtownexpress.com/de_84/talkingpoint.html

    Volume 17 • Issue 30 | Dec. 17 - 23, 2004

    Talking Point

    The excesses of W.T.C. preservationists
    By David Stanke

    Do you remember the cornerstone of the Freedom tower laid this summer? Have you heard Governor Pataki talk about the future of the World Trade Center on his occasional tours of the site? The reality is that not one construction project is underway at the W.T.C. and every project is being fought on historic grounds: the Freedom Tower, the Path Station—every single project. The W.T.C. now stands as the ultimate symbol of an American weakness: the ability of powerful special interest group to manipulate the system against the greater public good.

    In a conference room in Port Authority offices on Broadway, a few hundred feet from the W.T.C., “Section 106” hearings will determine if the land destroyed by terrorists should be preserved exclusively for future generations of tourists or developed to support a vital urban center. The Coalition of 9/11 Families, preservation organizations, and numerous lawyers and consultants put one side forward. The other is defended by a broad array of community groups and our local elected politicians. Despite what most of the country thinks, the future development of the W.T.C. site is still in limbo.

    The current issue is whether the P.A. should be allowed to expand the PATH station with an additional platform. Projections for commuter growth indicate it is needed to support ridership over the next 25 years. The Port Authority acknowledges underestimating the PATH ridership rebound since 9/11. And any one familiar with the city knows the consequences of insufficient public transportation capacity. Congestion gets ugly, transportation costs soar and expansion takes forever. The PATH was already at capacity before 9/11/01. If the P.A. does not expand PATH now, it will be a drag on Downtown and New Jersey for perpetuity.

    A powerful special interest group is determined to stop this expansion. This assault is presented in the guise of preservation of historic assets. In reality, it is simply a turf war and power play. The Coalition of 9/11 Families has latched on to the metal footings of the W.T.C. columns severed off at the cement 90 feet below ground level in the pit of W.T.C. These column footings are the lines in the sand of the battle to stop W.T.C. redevelopment. And if the Coalition doesn’t get their way, they threaten to take their case to the courts.

    The stated issue with the PATH station expansion is eight or nine column footings under the north tower — a few percent of the total — that will be covered. The reasoning is not simply that each column is historically important; it is that every available column must be preserved and presented in their entirety to demonstrate the total footprint. Anything less will destroy a national treasure.

    Of course, if this standard were applied elsewhere, every single column, piece of glass, section of siding and pile of toxic dust would be a historic artifact. The P.A., owner of the site, builder of the Twin Towers and victim on many levels of the 9/11 attacks, has already set aside the artifacts that they considered most expressive.

    On a recent trip to the bottom of the W.T.C., people I spoke to were at a loss to see the power of these columns, even some family members. When my wife saw a picture of one, she asked if one of our first grade children had been playing with the camera again. These columns have no distinct, recognizable importance and do not recall any visible feature of the towers.

    Preservationists argue that the magnitude of the destruction can only be conveyed through presentation of the entire footprints at the bottom of the W.T.C. Consider that the whole area under discussion lies beneath a 4+ acre memorial designating the original location of both towers with 30-foot deep, one-acre pools of water. From 30 feet below ground to 110-stories high and beyond, there will be nothing. But evidently, the Reflecting Absence memorial is not sufficient to communicate the size of the W.T.C.

    Preservationists and the Coalition frequently phrase their arguments on behalf of people who are not at the meetings. At one meeting, members of the Coalition even claimed to speak for both deceased and living architects and engineers involved with building the W.T.C. site.

    Good luck to the Port Authority in grinding its way through this process and convincing the state and federal agencies to approve the project. In the end, sanity may prevail. On the other hand, legislation, perhaps unrelated, is being considered in Washington to bring back W.T.C. debris back to the site. And even state politicians appear weak-kneed to fight it. Until I see cranes loading construction materials into the W.T.C. site, I will not be confident that this country has the will to recover from the terrorist attacks on our home ground.

    Imagine in 2024 that a 16-year-old from Kansas comes to New York. He will come to the W.T.C. to see the site of the largest attack on the U.S. homeland. His uncle died in the early stages of the war on terror in Iraq. At the W.T.C., he will see two one-acre ponds where once stood two buildings he has never seen. He will walk through the memorial and read a few of the names of the 3,000 who died. He will see an expansive exhibit at the W.T.C. Memorial Center, which he will cut short because it would take 5 hours to complete. He will buy a book and documentary DVDs containing actual footage of all of the events of 9/11/2001. He’ll see massive beams twisted like pieces of wire. He’ll see rows of fire trucks, police cars, and private vehicles smashed by the falling towers. But as he walks along the bottom of the bathtub and looks down to see the column footings, will he look out across beam filled basement of the W.T.C. and regret that he can’t see 10 of the footings because they were covered by the PATH station on the other side of the wall? After reading stories of people killed 23 years ago, will one acre of columns seem insufficient? Will he walk away feeling empty?

  7. #907
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    ...feel empty? How about the loss of two mega-godzilla 110 story super-skyscrapers just a stone's throw from each other. Yeah, I have that "empty" feeling. The Twin Towers should have been rebuilt: taller and stronger than ever. What is happening now is an absolute DISGRACE.

  8. #908

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    I'm SO F***ing tired of the Memorialists and their demands. :evil:
    A we've given them concession after concession and they still want more. Next they'll go back to demanding all of Ground Zero for their Disneyland of Death. What we have now for the memorial is sufficient enough, and I agree with Mr. Stanke that adding symbol after symbol is bullshit. Leaving the columns in essentially defeats the whole purpose of Reflecting Absence as a memorial.

  9. #909
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob
    ...feel empty? How about the loss of two mega-godzilla 110 story super-skyscrapers just a stone's throw from each other. Yeah, I have that "empty" feeling. The Twin Towers should have been rebuilt: taller and stronger than ever. What is happening now is an absolute DISGRACE.
    You are not the only one...the infamous Bernard Goetz apparently is unhappy with the plans...

    "The self-employed electronics calibrator still lives in the same Greenwich Village apartment where he's resided for decades. His most recent cause was the redevelopment of ground zero, and Goetz recently wrote ex-mayor Edward I. Koch about his opposition to the design for the new Freedom Tower.

    "I wrote him back, `Bernie, the train has already left the station,'" Koch said."

    - NYDaily News

  10. #910

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    Here is the last word on recreationism. There's a really simple reason why the towers could not possibly be rebuilt, even if there WAS a groundswell of public outrage and willing renters (which there is not). Beyond reasons of economics or taste, there is a remarkably simple reason the WTC could NOT be recreated: ego.

    No architect from any firm with the so-called expertise to build tall skyscrapers would EVER use a design by a dead architect. NO SIR. NO WAY. And pass on the opportunity to have THEIR names in the history books as architects? Let a dead guy get credit? NOT A "GHOST" OF A CHANCE!

    And no, NOT EVEN IF YOU PAID THEM! Remember, architects from major firms in the last half of the twentieth century actually refused commissions if the clients wanted anything other than a flat roof. REFUSED! They can be an ornery, stubborn bunch. They would come up with a zillion reasons why they couldn't be rebuilt. Architects have skyscraper sized egos and are master bullshitters when it comes to getting their way.

    This principal cuts both ways. I would LOVE to see Frank Lloyd Wright's unbuilt skyscrapers come to life, but I've realized it ain't gonna happen. I'll only see the forms "referenced" by either the mediocre Childs, or the elegant Calatrava.

  11. #911

  12. #912
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    In case you're not pleased with the freedom tower design, and the announcement of the taller Dubai tower has you down...

    http://www.petitiononline.com/NYC4EVER/petition.html

  13. #913
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomAuch
    I'm SO F***ing tired of the Memorialists and their demands. :evil:
    A we've given them concession after concession and they still want more. Next they'll go back to demanding all of Ground Zero for their Disneyland of Death. What we have now for the memorial is sufficient enough, and I agree with Mr. Stanke that adding symbol after symbol is bullshit. Leaving the columns in essentially defeats the whole purpose of Reflecting Absence as a memorial.
    You sound like such a kind soul TomAuch NOT!

    BTW The 3 seperate heights of Fredom Tower will be:

    * To roof of the offices: 1,499.5ft
    * To the tip of spire: 1,775.5ft and...
    * To the tip of the antenna: 1,999.5ft.

  14. #914
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonY
    * To the tip of spire: 1,775.5ft and...
    * To the tip of the antenna: 1,999.5ft.
    Oh please, I can't wait to see the distinction between the "spire" and the "antenna". It is nothing but a 450ft VOID from the roof to the flashing red light on top.

    I never get tired of deriding this building. All with the hope that I am proven totally and inarguably wrong.

  15. #915
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    Quote Originally Posted by JonY
    * To the tip of spire: 1,775.5ft and...
    * To the tip of the antenna: 1,999.5ft.
    Oh please, I can't wait to see the distinction between the "spire" and the "antenna". It is nothing but a 450ft VOID from the roof to the flashing red light on top.

    I never get tired of deriding this building. All with the hope that I am proven totally and inarguably wrong.
    A spire is purely an architectural feature whereas an antenna has many functions egs. out-going TV receptions relayed to Manhattan, its buroughs and beyond, similalry for outgoing radio receptions and for the tower itself to receive differeing incoming receptions/information.

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