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. #916

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    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.
    This is the one thing that bothers me most about the Freedom Tower, even more than the fact its just a sized-down version of what it was meant and designed to be. I accept the 3 to 400 hundred ft of cables and windmills as an extension of the tower. But adding a spire to that just pushes it beyond what is acceptable. We need one element - either the spire or the cables - to extend the height of the building.

  2. #917

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    DAILY NEWS

    Downtown looking up




    How's this for a Christmas gift? A shimmering new city rising, Phoenix-like, from the dust of Ground Zero. Okay, the mega-vision for downtown's renewal is not going to happen overnight. But, believe it or not, the prospect of all five towers slated for the site actually being built has just taken a giant step closer to reality.

    That's quite a turnaround from a few months back, when most project insiders believed developer Larry Silverstein could not bankroll more than one building, the iconic Freedom Tower, if that.

    Earlier this month, a federal jury only blocks from Ground Zero ruled that the attacks constituted two separate events. That decision means another $1.1 billion in insurance proceeds in the kitty.

    Talk about stocking stuffers! But it will take more than money for these towers to rise. It will take the political will of the man who wrapped himself in the flag of 9/11 and vowed to restore all that was destroyed that September day, Gov. Pataki.

    The court win for Silverstein means that he will have, in all, $4.65 billion available from insurers for replacing the acres of lost office space. That's not the entire $7 billion he initially had sought. He lost the bigger of his two insurance cases in May. But many experts believe that now he may have enough to get over the finish line - with two Big Ifs.

    Big If No. 1: To cover what Silverstein didn't get from his insurers, he will need the lion's share of $3.5 billion in low-interest Liberty Bonds that Washington earmarked for reviving downtown. That's not a done deal. Developers are eying the bonds for building everything from a Marriott in Harlem to a sprawling new Bronx Terminal Market. Worthy projects, but the bonds were meant for downtown, and downtown is where they should stay. Gov. Pataki, who has a lot to say over use of the bonds, must play the enforcer.

    Big If No. 2: Tenants. Is there enough demand to sustain a new development that would equal one-third the space in all of downtown Los Angeles? Silverstein is said to be in serious talks with Verizon to be the anchor tenant for his recently rebuilt 7 World Trade Center, which abuts Ground Zero. He will need dozens more king-size tenants like that to get his five planned towers underway.

    Not an impossible dream, says M. Myers Mermel, a tough-minded real estate exec who has been tracking downtown commercial space since 9/11. "Investment banks, to name one sector, are expanding into new space as they continue to hire," he said. "And downtown is the cheapest market for space in Manhattan." That means a stream of blue-chip tenants for Silverstein - potentially.

    But if Silverstein is to reel in those big fish, he will need Pataki. The governor must sprinkle around more incentives and use some of his famed aw-shucks charm to jawbone prospective tenants into signing on.

    This would do much to revive the fading image of a governor facing fiscal meltdown in Albany, gridlock in the Legislature and calls from fellow GOPers to pass on running for a fourth term. Sure, he'll need backup from Mayor Bloomberg and others. But it's up to Pataki to play Santa Claus and make sure this gift gets delivered.

  3. #918
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonY
    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.

    The office portion is not 1500 feet...that's the cables, the offices go up to 900 feet :roll: with some observation and broadcasting stuff goin to about 1000 and a hollow glass shard to 1150'


    I hope there will be changes...the way this building is is not to great right now...


    I heard over at SSP that they were adding more office space to the WTC and taking it away from tower 5...could that mean a taller tower 2 and freedom tower? Knarfor claims they will both pass 1200 feet, with tower 3 about 1100 and it going down from there.


    I hope he's right.


    As far as latiice goes I hope it will go to 1776

  4. #919

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    Excuse me if this question had already been asked ops: but this thread has more than 60 pages ...

    Does somebody know when exactly will we be able to see the actual Freedom Tower rising above the ground? Have they already started to built it?

  5. #920

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    Nope.Contracts aren't even out yet for erectors to bid on.

  6. #921

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonY
    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.
    I do not lack any compassion towards the need for a memorial, but my concern is towards the idea of granting concession after concession. Ask any BPC resident on this board who has encountered the Memorialists at hearings and they'll tell you the same thing. BTW, the last thing we needs is another OKC Memorial. THe planning process there set a bad precedent for what we decide is sufficient. If they want something added that will compromise the infarstructure underground I have every right to complain about that.


    ...BTW I thought that the FT offices only go up to 1,100-1,150FT? The top of the lattice is 1,500 FT, the Spire goes up 1,776, and the antenna will most likely go tup to 2,000 but I am not sure if that detail is final yet.

  7. #922

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiw40
    Nope.Contracts aren't even out yet for erectors to bid on.
    Ok, thanks for telling me. I thought they had already started to build something. I'l wait then

  8. #923

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    ...The Golberger and Libeskind books are old news, at least to WNY readers, but the third book mentioned below ("Imagining Ground Zero") is news to me, at least. And it sounds interesting...

    King (the author of this review) usually has insightful commentary about urban planning issues. I do quibble with the his reference to Libeskind as the "winner", of course. I still feel that the THINK plan earned that designation, and wonder how that plan compares with the other ideas documented in "Imagining Ground Zero". Has anyone had a chance to see that book?

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...amp;type=books

    The word on ground zero
    Three radically different books explore the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in New York

    - Reviewed by John King, Chronicle Urban Design Writer
    Sunday, December 26, 2004

    Along with all the other ways that it has twisted and recast our world, the destruction of the World Trade Center made Americans, at least for a time, take architecture seriously.

    The terrorists who targeted New York's tallest towers showed that buildings have a cultural aura beyond their assigned roles. Filling the void became a matter of healing the scar -- and rather than pin their hopes on politicians and developers, the public looked elsewhere. People who in the past had expected nothing from buildings except insulation and air conditioning now looked to architecture both for emotional balm and symbolic renewal.

    Unrealistic hopes? In retrospect, yes -- but not because art eventually was squashed by commerce or anything as simple as that. As three new books show in varied ways, motives are as complex in architecture as in any other aspect of modern life, with an equally elusive sense of right and wrong.

    The books approach ground zero from distinct perspectives: an autobiography, an architectural compendium and a history of the rebuilding debate laced with critical observations. But together they capture a moment when it seemed that, perhaps, cities could grow in an entirely new way.

    "To many people, the very idea of design seemed to embody the idealism that was sought in the reconstruction of the sixteen acres. We would respond to this tragedy by showing the world the very best we were capable of, the most advanced and creative architecture we could produce," is how New Yorker architectural critic Paul Goldberger describes the mood in his new book Up From Zero: Politics, Architecture and the Rebuilding of New York (Random House; 274 pages; $24.95). "It was a laudable goal, and what was particularly striking was the extent to which it was shared not only by architects and planners but by a wide range of citizens."

    Goldberger's book is a remarkably supple read: In just a couple of hundred pages, he folds storytelling with architectural criticism, and both with reflections on how public interests collide with politics and business in contemporary urban culture.

    "Up From Zero" lays out the chronology of the saga that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and 22 months later saw the cornerstone laid for the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower that will rise from the site where thousands fell to their deaths. In the early months there were fervent calls to build nothing at all and leave the land empty, as a memorial of sorts; then came a set of formulaic proposals from New York officialdom that caused the public to recoil with scorn. This led to the top news story on Dec. 18, 2002: Seven of the world's top architectural teams unveiled images that offered a phantasmagoria of what the future could be.

    That's where Goldberger begins his book, describing the atmosphere as well as such norm-bending proposals as one team's set of five independent towers that would weave together to form a single 1,620-foot peak: "The unveiling of their designs had begun to feel more like a sports event than a cultural one. ... At stake it was a prize much bigger than anything the architectural world usually gets to think about." We also glimpse Goldberger's ability to convey an entire design or viewpoint in just a few wry words, such as his comment that one conservative rebuilding scheme "seemed to be offering Brooks Bro-thers when all the other architects came selling Prada."

    The winner of the design competition? Daniel Libeskind, then a little- known Berlin architect (though his Jewish Museum in Berlin attracted tourists as well as critical praise), and now the author, with Sarah Crichton, of an autobiography, Breaking Ground (Riverhead Books; 294 pages; $27.95), that illuminates how ground zero gave architects a cultural cachet.

    "There were days when I was made to feel like a rock star," Libeskind recalls happily. "Rolling Stone asked me to contribute a list of items for its 'Cool' issue. I suggested fusion, Emily Dickinson, the Bible and the Bronx."

    This passage isn't that unusual: Instead of Goldberger's measured insight, what we get is a chatty, wide-ranging mix of family history (both parents suffered in Soviet labor camps before immigrating to New York by way of Israel), architectural theory and swipes at his peers.

    His initial proposal spiraled upward with five shardlike towers culminating in a 1,776-foot spire meant to mimic the Statue of Liberty's arm, and dug down 70 feet to expose the felled towers' foundations -- a jarring combination of the urge to rebuild and the need to remember.

    It's the kind of drama associated with his Holocaust-centered Jewish Museum in Berlin, yet Libeskind now positions himself as a black-clad populist, "more cornball than cosmopolite." Stranger still, he belittles architects who "felt their role was to impose their vision on the world," yet he also presents himself as the omniscient artist: "Sometimes my thoughts are triggered by a piece of music or a poem, or simply by the way light falls on a wall. Sometimes an idea comes to me from the light deep in my heart." And his lengthy descriptions of shaping the ground zero proposals never make mention of the respected landscape architects or planners who were offstage members of Libeskind's team.

    One collaborator can't be avoided: David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the favored architect of the developer who had a lease on the site. Libeskind devotes a chapter to the "forced marriage" (his term), and it reads more like a Hollywood tell-all than an architectural treatise.

    We're told that Childs can't draw, that he mocks 1776 as a declaration of war, that Libeskind's attorney marvels that "you collaborate with a guy who wears a yellow bow tie with such an ugly brown serge suit."

    Libeskind loses most of the battles -- at this point he's not scheduled to be the lead designer on any ground zero building -- but he retains his nods to the Statue of Liberty and the Declaration of Independence through the intervention of New York Gov. George Pataki.

    Libeskind's book reminds us -- stop the presses! -- that humility is not the only force behind great architecture. Architects are driven by ego as well as altruism.

    Cynical, you say? Then skim through Imagining Ground Zero: Official and Unofficial Proposals for the World Trade Center Site (Rizzoli; 224 pages; $60) by Suzanne Stephens with Ian Luna and Ron Broadhurst, a collection of proposals for the scarred site assembled by Architectural Record magazine.

    Part historical documentary, part a survey of cutting-edge architecture today, it pulls together everything from the Freedom Tower to the chosen site memorial, "Reflecting Absence" (designed in part by Berkeley landscape architect Peter Walker), to competition entries and several dozen unofficial visions offered by architects and artists and regular citizens.

    One that stands out for haunting clarity is a memorial proposed by San Francisco artist Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and her daughter Nellie King Solomon. One of 60 ground zero visions presented at Max Protech Gallery in Manhattan three months after the attack, the plan imagines two 110-story shafts burrowed into the ground -- one lined with mirrors and another filled with water.

    But for all the visual snap that makes "Imagining Ground Zero" riveting - - blobs and curves abound -- nothing jumps from the pages as the fitting response to the tragedy of Sept. 11, the path not taken that would have led us all to a better place. At times you sense something far different: the architectural equivalent of ambulance chasing. More politely, "a beauty contest, in which each of them (architects) paraded their favorite shapes before an eager public," to quote Goldberger's take on the Protech show.

    In other words, architects were as conflicted about what to do in the aftermath of Sept. 11 as all of us. And if no architect fully rose to the occasion, neither have we.

  9. #924
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    Developers Balk at 3-Story Hill for Ramps

    December 24 2004 at 3:46 PM
    NY Sun

    Developers of two buildings that flank the World Trade Center site are balking at a plan to create a three-story hill in their sight lines, obstructing their views of Ground Zero. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation voted last week to move vehicle ramps to the south side of Liberty Street, where they will be hidden under the hill at the proposed Liberty Park.

    The two buildings, which are in the process of being made habitable, are the only surviving buildings at the World Trade Center site: a 23-floor luxury high-rise at 90 West St., and a 135,000-square-foot structure at 130 Cedar St.

    The ramps, which will lead to underground parking and loading docks operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have been through a number of iterations. Most recently, the ramps were to be on the north side of Liberty Street, but their position was moved to allow two-way street traffic on Liberty Street and to separate them from the Ground Zero Memorial.

    "When we became aware they were moving the ramps, we became very concerned, because it makes the retail on the ground floor of our building less valuable, changing the economics of the development," an executive familiar with the development at 130 Cedar told The New York Sun.
    "We're trying to work with the Port Authority and the LMDC to see what can be done," the executive said.

    If a compromise cannot be reached, the source said, "We'll have to talk to our financial backers about other options."

    "Anything that blocks access or visibility to retail severely impacts its value, rendering it pretty much valueless," a managing director at CB Richard Ellis, Alan Schmerzler, said. "It would be a very tough sale to put retailers in these buildings, even with the foot traffic from the World Trade Center."

    "A visual deterrent is a big loss, particularly if it comes after you already have planned a development," a commercial broker at Studley, Woody Heller, said.

    While developers at 130 Cedar are still at the initial stages of construction, the rental building at 90 West is nearly completed.
    "While we are concerned with every aspect of the project plan for Lower Manhattan, this is a city where nearly every building has a 22-story building next to it, so to have a landscaped terrace that is two to three stories high is not the worst thing," a principal of the Kibel Companies, Peter Levenson, said. Kibel and Brack Capital Real Estate together own 90 West St.

    Analysts said that despite the upbeat attitude about that building, with its restoration nearly complete and 410 rentals scheduled to hit the market this spring, it is too late to bemoan the change.

    "There isn't a damn thing they can do about it now," a senior managing director of Colliers ABR, Craig Evans, said. "I guess they could try and fill the first few floors with office space, but there isn't much demand for it. I'd be upset if I were them."

    The landmark building, which was built in 1907 by Cass Gilbert, does include retail space on the ground floor, although leases have yet to be made final, the head of on-site marketing, Clifford Finn, said.
    "No matter what anyone says, this is so bad, I could almost argue that you could forget even applying any retail value to the lower floors," Mr. Schmerzler said.

    The rentals, which are to be ready for occupancy by mid-April or May, range from $1,595 for a studio to $3,695 for a two-bedroom apartment. Units facing the ramps and construction continuing at Ground Zero will cost less than apartments with river and city views, Mr. Finn said.

    The Port Authority said the ramps' height is predetermined, although a spokesman said the authority hopes a landscape architect will be able to camouflage the height.

    "There isn't a whole lot we can do about the height, it is just the geometry of getting the trucks underground," a Port Authority spokesman, Steve Coleman, said. "The ramps are going to be about 20 to 25 feet above street level, and it isn't going to get any lower, although we will cover it with landscaping."

    Officials of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation are more optimistic than colleagues at the Port Authority that a compromise with concerned developers will be hammered out.

    "The Port Authority is not the final word," the development corporation's president, Kevin Rampe, said. "The ramp could be made lower. There are different ways to treat these ramps as assets instead of as eyesores."

  10. #925
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    Review of Libeskind "Breaking Ground" Book Calls It Self Serving

    December 25 2004 at 11:05 AM
    Toronto Globe Mail

    Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture By Daniel Libeskind with Sarah Crichton Riverhead, 294 pages, $40

    Like some fabulous silver-screen diva suddenly unsure of her fans, architect Daniel Libeskind has issued an unwise piece of self-promotion that, on the face of it, appears to be quite unnecessary. Libeskind, after all, is famous everywhere, though his first important building opened only five years ago. He is designing substantial projects in Toronto (an extension of the Royal Ontario Museum), San Francisco, Denver, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, Milan and Hong Kong. He has established brand recognition in the marketplace of contemporary architectural fashion with tattery, askew forms that resemble icebergs and crystals and shattered glass and crockery.

    But despite his high position among contemporary cultural celebrities, Libeskind is a troubled man. He has been humiliated by other architectural celebrities (Peter Eisenman, for example). He has been artistically insulted by New York real-estate operators and powerful corporate architects. Hence this breezy, brief autobiography, which aims to set the record straight and convince us that, no matter what we've heard, the author is actually just a plucky, idealistic immigrant guy who gets teary when he hears The Star-Spangled Banner, adores his mother and, for some odd reason, has a lot of enemies.

    In Breaking Ground, Libeskind tells many stories about his life, which began in 1946 in Poland, continued in Israel and New York, and is now lived mostly, it appears, in airplanes. Two women figure prominently in the narrative. One is the architect's "brilliant and fearless mother," a survivor of both Nazis and communists, who spiked her wise advice with "quotations from Spinoza and Nietzsche, recited spontaneously in a mixture of Yiddish, Polish, and even English." The other notable woman here is his wife and tireless backer, Nina, an offspring of the Lewises, the first family of Canadian socialism.

    The central story in the book, however, has to do with Ground Zero. Since early 2003, when his master plan for New York's destroyed World Trade Center got the go-ahead, the architect has been caught up in a tornado of conflicting interests and obsessions -- political, personal, architectural -- regarding exactly what's to be built there. According to this account -- and I have no reason to doubt it -- he got roughed up by other high-stakes players in this game, notably real-estate tycoon Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the World Trade Center at the time of 9/11 attacks, and Silverstein's favourite architect, David Childs, of the giant American firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

    Libeskind, I believe, is not to be blamed for his sufferings, which are described in detail here. In a way extreme even in George W. Bush's self-absorbed America, the discussion of rebuilding Ground Zero has become an occasion for a great deal of acting out by all and sundry. It's hardly surprising that Libeskind, having weighed in with a bold plan, would get sucked down into the Ground Zero maelstrom of egos, needs and ambitions.

    What is surprising is Libeskind's apparent belief that he could win our hearts with a chronicle riddled with self-serving sentimentality about himself and his supporters, and with the shallow, resentful caricature of his enemies and rivals. He dismisses the Modernism of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and other 20th century architects as "soulless and dull" and "neutral," which suggests, to this reader anyway, that he does not understand what they were doing. He portrays Herbert Muschamp, one of the most acute architectural critics of our time, as a befuddled flip-flopper and, remarkably, as someone who spends too much time in the bathtub. He characterizes the architecture of some thoughtful Ground Zero competitors, with scantily disguised sarcasm, as "very, very clever," "glossy," "ironic," "so/current/, so/smart/."

    But the attack on the Modernists and others is merely one manifestation of the overwrought anti-intellectualism that pervades the book. Libeskind visits Ground Zero and sees a deeply buried waterproofing wall, now exposed by the devastation of Sept. 11. "It loomed over us, appearing bigger than any building we'd ever seen, and as we stood in that vast pit it felt almost infinite, the embodiment of everything -- what collapses, what is resilient; the power of architecture; the power of the human spirit." Following this and other episodes of rapture, enchantment, apocalypse and so forth can itself be an overwhelming experience, though not in any interesting or revelatory way.

    Even less interesting, though equally off-putting, is the author's sappy Americanism. As an American whose ancestors came to this continent from Europe 400 years ago, I cannot know what the United States seems like to someone who arrived, as Libeskind did, from the tormented Europe of the mid-20th century. I am prepared to believe that the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from the deck of an incoming passenger ship might be exhilarating. But in view of the recent takeover of traditional American symbols and sentiments by hard-right, bare-fanged political thugs and fundamentalists, I think it's fair to expect every thoughtful American, even a new one, to beware of patriotism of the sobbing-and-cheering variety.

    Libeskind is having no part of such wariness. "In spite of my penchant for wearing black," he tells us, "I am more cornball than cosmopolite." For his Ground Zero entry, as if to underscore this self-description, he "envisioned five towers -- tall but not too tall -- arranged by increasing height, from south to north, so that they rose in a spiral with the same shape as the flame in Lady Liberty's torch. And the tallest, I had decided, should rise to 1,776 feet, to commemorate the Declaration of Independence, which brought democracy into the modern world. I would fill the upper floors of the tower with botanical gardens, as a confirmation of life." The Declaration of Independence did nothing of the sort, but never mind: Like the true man of the down-home American Volk he aspires to be, Libeskind luxuriates in the "tears and applause" of his project's fans, and takes them into his overflowing heart.

    One obvious problem with this embarrassing book, at least for its author, is that it gives so much useful ammunition to the critics, and so little usable information to observers who would like to understand Libeskind's abrupt popularity. There is rather a lot to understand. While his drawings and proposals have been circulating for some time, the public has seen few completed large projects. Yet in scarcely more than a decade, he has become an unavoidable presence in the architectural imagination of our time. As his key projects in the U.S. and Canada are built out over the next several years, we can look forward to discovering the Daniel Libeskind who counts, in the one place his thought and feeling must matter to us: the architecture itself.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20041224/BKLIBE24/TPEntertainment/Books>;

  11. #926

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    Libeskind and ego are inseperable.

  12. #927

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    What do you think are the chances that the new WTC will lure the big financial companies like Morgan Stanley, Merril Lynch, Goldman Sachs and others? Could the NYSE even occupy one of the buildings?

  13. #928

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    Could the NYSE even occupy one of the buildings?
    I suppose with Grasso out its possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Could the NYSE even occupy one of the buildings?
    I suppose with Grasso out its possible.
    Maybe they can take over 5 WTC development? Shift Silverstein's load to 1-4, make the heights higher, and allow 5 WTC to be lower, so it "draws less attention ti itself."

    I would love to see Verizon just move to 7 WTC and get the ball rolling.

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    Keep dreaming... I have just this day stopped hoping for ground zero, It's a hopeless cause. Silverstein wants things short it's not gonna change. He's a ball-less cowardly pig. :roll:

    Freedom tower will be 1100 feet tall and the heights will go on from there...I know about what I posted earlier but I just cant simply imagine anything on that site going above 1000 feet to occupation. :evil:

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