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Thread: WTC Tower One - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  1. #14506
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002


    I stared at that picture in the (physical) NY Times magazine for a long long time.

    The observatory has fantastic views at night (not THAT fantastic), and I was pleased with my trip there. I plan on going again when the sunsets before dinner in the winter... but Lord knows I won't be eating at the overpriced POS restaurants at the WTC. One look at the menu was enough to dissuade me.

  2. #14507


    San Diego Union-Tribune
    July 1, 2016

    The tallest Lego model in the U.S.

    By Lori Weisberg

    Legoland California debuts its replica of One World Trade Center in its Mini Land New York exhibit area within the Carlsbad park. It’s the tallest Lego model in the U.S. Courtesy of Sandy Huffaker/Legoland

    Just in time for the Independence Day weekend, Legoland is showing off an extensive remodel of its New York miniland, dominated by a towering replica of Manhattan’s One World Trade Center.

    At 26 feet tall and more than 250,000 Lego bricks, the skyscraper is the tallest Lego model in the U.S. (A 60-foot-tall replica of the 160-story Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai is awaiting the opening of Legoland Dubai this October.) It alone took eight master model builders more than 1,200 hours to build the trade center replica.

    Unveiled on Thursday, the tower is part of a whole new section of the miniland devoted to replicating the feel and look of the memorial in lower Manhattan created to honor the thousands killed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The memorial’s twin reflecting pools, the grove of memorial trees, World Trade Center Transportation Hub and even the museum building are all represented in the renovated miniland.

    Legoland’s master builders even created a tower viewer fashioned from Lego bricks that allows individuals to get a birds-eye view of the Manhattan tableau from atop the World Trade Center Lego tower.

    Legoland’s version of New York’s 9/11 Memorial includes Lego replicas of the twin reflecting pools. Sandy Huffaker/Legoland

    "Instead of using glass binoculars like what are used for the coin-operated binoculars (at sightseeing landmarks), we used a digital camera mounted on top of our One World Trade Center, and it's connected to a Lego-built viewfinder that guests can look into to get a birds-eye view of New York miniland,” explained master model builder Rob McCarthy. “It’s a very wide angle so you can also see yourself.”

    Nearly a year in the making, the redesigned New York area includes a number of new buildings, a dozen more moving automobiles and a subway system with new cars and tracks that are illuminated and feature sound effects that mimic the real thing.

    One of the biggest challenges constructing the One World Trade Center model, McCarthy said, was that it could not be entirely assembled in the indoor Lego model-building shop. Instead, the model builders crafted the tower in sections and assembled it on the site of the miniland, McCarthy explained.

    “Two things I love is watching guests come in and the children’s eyes lighting up when they see how how huge these buildings are and how they are really made of Lego bricks,” McCarthy said. “The second thing is when the adults and children realize the detail and you see them spending a lot of time examining those details and how it was put together, so that's very rewarding because the size of all this can be overwhelming.”

    © 1995-2016 The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC

  3. #14508


    September 6, 2016

    Selling 1 World Trade Center

    If you thought building the $3.8 billion tower was a tall order, just try selling it

    By Daniel Geiger

    The roughly 3-million-square-foot 1 World Trade Center is still one-third empty.

    One World Trade Center sits at the heart of America's most hallowed ground, a 1,776-foot-tall icon that concretely testifies to the city's rebirth after Sept. 11, 2001.

    But as an investment for its owner, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, it has been a bust.

    Fifteen years after the terrorist attacks, the roughly 3-million-square-foot, $3.8 billion tower is still one-third empty. According to the Citizens Budget Commission, the tower netted the authority $13 million in revenue last year, a figure that equates to a meager 0.35% return on its investment—a rate that doesn't even keep pace with inflation.

    The Port Authority now has a plan to transform One World Trade Center from albatross to blue chip. Under pressure to return to its traditional focus on transportation, yet strapped for cash, the agency plans to sell what was originally called the Freedom Tower to the highest bidder—foreign or domestic—for a price executives believe could be as much as $5 billion. That would be the highest price ever paid for an office building in the U.S.

    "Ownership of One World Trade is not a part of the Port Authority's mission to advance transportation infrastructure in the region," Port Authority Chairman John Degnan told Crain's. "This asset will be monetized and the proceeds used for that core mission. The only question is how and when to proceed in a manner that ensures that the maximum return is yielded for reinvestment in facilities that do serve the agency's core mission."

    The agency quietly declared in a 2014 report that it would divest itself of its real estate assets, including One World Trade Center. Some of its leaders believe the time to sell is now in order to capitalize on a hot market. They envision bringing the building to the auction block within the next year.

    That time frame could easily be pushed back given the complexities and competing interests at the site, which is viewed as much as a public asset as it is a commercial one. Regardless of the timing, selling the building could be as complicated as constructing it was. No site elicits stronger emotions than the World Trade Center and to sell its signature tower, the Port Authority will likely have to steer past a host of objections, including from the agency's own security force. The Port Authority police, who guard the site, and families of the 9/11 victims would likely oppose a sale of the property to wealthy investors from the Middle East. Concerns may even come from the federal government, whose tenants in One World Trade Center include U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the largest law enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

    Likely bidders

    "Large deals like this take on a life of their own," said Giacomo Barbieri, head of northeast real estate investments for TIAA Global Asset Management, which manages $97 billion of real estate. "There are a lot of nuances that come into play that could stall a deal like this. One investment group may be concerned about the building's vacancy [rate], while another might be sensitive to the terrorism risk and then another might be concerned about lining up all the debt to buy something like this."

    There are few investors with enough cash to buy trophy properties like 1 WTC—and fewer opportunities still. Since 2008, only 12 buildings have sold for more than $1 billion in the city. Barbieri said TIAA looks at every major property that hits the sales market in the city and would likely be a bidder for the tower. Similar institutional investors like CalPERS, which recorded the largest purchase so far this year with a $1.9 billion acquisition of 787 Seventh Ave., are seen as potential buyers since they are attracted to single assets where they can park large sums of money.

    So are deep-pocketed foreign investors and overseas governments. In the wake of Britain's vote to exit the European Union, many are looking to put their cash in a stable, income-producing asset. Foreign buyers have recently paid some of the biggest sums ever seen in the city to acquire high-profile properties—sometimes with political consequences. Anbang Insurance, a Beijing-based financial firm, purchased the Waldorf Astoria hotel two years ago for a record $1.9 billion, prompting U.S. leaders, including President Barack Obama, to no longer stay at the hotel.

    "Do you think the U.S. government wouldn't have concerns about the Chinese buying up the World Trade Center?" asked an executive at a Chinese real estate investment firm that has been active in the city. "People would be very suspicious of this kind of deal."

    Earlier this year, the Olayan Group, a Saudi Arabia–based investment company, purchased 550 Madison Ave., a vacant midtown office building that until recently was Sony's U.S. headquarters, for $1.4 billion. The firm is a well-regarded global investor. But the idea of a buyer from the country that 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers hailed from could provoke public backlash that makes such a sale impossible.

    "It's unfortunate, but it may hit some sensitive nerves," said Virginia Bauer, a former board member at the Port Authority who lost her husband, David, at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who is a member of the board of directors for the 9/11 Memorial. "There are some that are always going to see the site in an emotional and sensitive and polarizing way."

    Large city landlords could partner with foreigners or try to buy the tower on their own. The pack would likely include Silverstein Properties, the developer of two other office towers at the WTC site; Brookfield Properties, which owns the large retail and office complex Brookfield Place just west of the WTC site; and the Related Cos., which in 2010 lost out to the Durst Organization for the chance to invest in and operate the tower alongside the Port Authority.

    Bauer said she believes investment firms from around the world should be invited to participate in an auction and that selling to the highest bidder, whoever that might be, is paramount. "We can't have restrictions on who buys the tower," Bauer said. "What makes America and the city so attractive is our tolerance and respect for all."

    Bidders, however, would have to contend with the Durst Organization, the large New York City landlord that purchased a $100 million interest in One World Trade Center in 2010. That investment is scheduled to be converted into an ownership stake when the tower is projected to be fully leased in 2019. Durst has first dibs on matching a potential buyer's offer and also has the right to block any deal before its ownership vests. That means that if a sale materialized in the next two years, Durst would likely have to be bought out before the Port Authority could complete the transaction.

    Security concerns

    Whoever seeks to buy the tower will have to contend with the issue of security. One World Trade Center remains a preeminent target for terrorists. Although the Port Authority does not disclose what it spends on security at the site, last year it cost $121 million to operate the property, a figure that includes public safety. An investor may be motivated to cut that expense, or offload it onto the public, to be able to generate the cash flow needed to pay the massive mortgage that the purchase will entail.

    One way would be to scale back the number of costly Port Authority police officers patrolling the building and replace them with officers of the New York Police Department. Such a move, though, could inflame tensions between the two departments. The Port Authority police, which lost 37 officers in the Sept. 11 attacks, is in charge of security at the site, but the NYPD has for years wanted to wrest control of security at Ground Zero, where 23 of its own died.

    "It's an emotional thing for Port Authority police," said a Port Authority police source. "We have gone through a lot with the attacks of 1993 and 2001. It's our Gettysburg."

    Given all the potential obstacles, some agency executives are already pushing back against selling.

    "It's not realistic to talk about selling One World Trade Center, especially because the building will be worth more in the coming years as the site comes fully online," a source at the Port said.

    The executive said the agency would be better off starting the divestment process with smaller properties it owns, like the Red Hook container terminal in Brooklyn.

    Waiting to fully lease the tower would have other advantages, in addition to giving the Port Authority much-needed revenue and a higher valuation for One World Trade Center. It could increase its borrowing capacity, allowing it to fund capital projects by using revenue from the leases to pay off the debt incurred.

    But for those who say the agency has strayed for too long from its mission, the moment to sell is at hand. The building is only 70% leased, and it could be years before it is fully occupied. Stephen Berger, a former Port Authority executive director, said the agency had, in the past, fallen into the trap of delaying a sale only to miss the real estate market or mismanage the property.

    "One World Trade ties them up mentally and financially. It's a brain drain that has sucked a lot of juice out of that place over the last 15 years, unfortunately," Berger said. "The Port doesn't have the skills to be a competitive player in an aggressive real estate market. They need to get their dough and get out."

    Entire contents © 2016 Crain Communications Inc.

  4. #14509


    New York Times
    September 7, 2016

    1 World Trade Center Gains Popularity in the Pantheon of New York Kitsch


    Slide Show: A Post-9/11 Symbol of New York Emerges

    You glance toward Lower Manhattan and expect to see a single tower where two once stood. You delight in the spectacle of sunlight glinting off its slivered facade.

    Suddenly, you realize, the new 1 World Trade Center — the Freedom Tower — has become familiar.

    And 15 years after the twin towers disappeared abruptly from the skyline, they have begun to fade from popular consciousness.

    They once nearly rivaled the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building as simple, graphic representations of the complex idea of New York. In movies and logotypes, on knickknacks and letterheads, two parallel strokes meant only one thing. Now, a shaft of slender, alternating isosceles triangles — so simple a child could draw it — is coming to mean the same thing.

    Campagna & Sons of Brooklyn, which makes boxes for pizzerias around Lower Manhattan and nearby New Jersey cities like Hoboken and Weehawken, carries a Freedom Tower design, in 10-, 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-inch sizes. Instagram currently counts nearly 200,000 posts tagged #oneworldtradecenter. Fishs Eddy, an imaginative housewares store in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan, has introduced the new 1 World Trade Center to its popular “212” line.

    But dinner plates and other “212” merchandise designed before Sept. 11, 2001, will still have the twin towers in the silhouetted skyline, Julie Gaines, an owner, said.

    The twin towers have not vanished from the insignia of the New York Fire Department. But last year, on the department’s 150th anniversary, they gave way temporarily to a commemorative patch designed by Firefighter Richard Miranda, of Rescue Company 1, showing the new 1 World Trade Center.

    The pizza box was designed by Joseph Campagna, who runs the business begun by his grandfather and carried on by his father and uncle. He was inspired to draw up a patriotic tableau with an oversize American flag flying over the new tower. The Campagnas can see the building from their headquarters on the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

    “It got bad for a while,” Mr. Campagna said. “But seeing the new tower being built was like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”

    The design is so popular, he said, that some pizzerias refuse anything else. “If I run out of boxes and send them my stock design — Italian village — they’ll say, ‘I don’t want it,’” he said. “It’s been a smash hit.”

    And not just at pizzerias.

    Using Times Square tchotchke shops as a barometer, the two-year-old tower is already nearing the apotheosis of kitsch.

    Though the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building have nothing to fear yet, the Chrysler Building and Brooklyn Bridge may want to look to their laurels. The Freedom Tower is gaining fast.

    You can now buy snow globes with the tower. Or paperweights. Spoon rests. Key chains. Flasks. Compacts. Shot glasses. Or sheer, provocatively cut panties known as cheekies.

    “I’ve got this big smile on my face as you talk about souvenir shops,” said T.J. Gottesdiener, managing partner of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which designed 1 World Trade Center. (David M. Childs was the lead architect.) “‘Icon’ is the right word, but some of the reproductions are so grotesquely misproportioned that it’s very funny.”

    Who controls such depictions?

    From a legal standpoint, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which developed the building in partnership with the Durst Organization. The authority has applied for trademark No. 86931748 on “the depiction of a building with a spire on top,” including its elongated triangular facets.

    In theory, the authority’s permission would have to be obtained to use this mark on hundreds of items that are listed on the trademark application, including, but not limited to, basting brushes, dust ruffles, mud flaps, fanny packs, mouse pads, rompers, pet-hair ornaments and golf divot repair tools.

    But there is no practical way to police such depictions.

    Two years ago, the agency tried to crack down on Fishs Eddy, saying the use of the twin tower silhouettes on its ceramic ware “interferes with the Port Authority’s control of its own reputation.”

    John Oliver responded wickedly on the show “Last Week Tonight” by introducing a Port Authority Bus Terminal dinner plate, with silhouettes of a woman vomiting in a garbage can, a man urinating in a water fountain, a condom and a rat orgy.

    The authority dropped the matter. Ms. Gaines said, “They would have to sue every souvenir shop in the city, not just us.”

    “Our position is consistent,” she added, “that we don’t believe anyone owns the silhouette of the New York City skyline.”

    Put another way, everyone owns it.

    “One World Trade Center and every other structure on the site hold our impossible wish: to have back everyone who was lost on Sept. 11,” Judith Dupré wrote in “One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building.”

    “Of all the challenges that the World Trade Center has had to face, perhaps the biggest one is exorcising the ghosts of the structures that it replaced.”

    © 2016 The New York Times Company

  5. #14510
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Richmond VA


    Would someone please tell this guy there is no such thing as 'Freedom Tower'? It's like nails on a blackboard not getting the name correct.

  6. #14511


    Curbed NY
    September 26, 2016

    One World Trade Center is officially one of the world’s greenest skyscrapers

    The iconic tower has been awarded LEED Gold certification

    Max Touhey

    When Hurricane Sandy struck in New York City nearly four years ago, among the many things it damaged was One World Trade Center’s hopes of becoming one of the world's largest buildings to receive LEED gold certification. But now, the tower has officially been given that designation, making it the tallest LEED building in the Western Hemisphere.

    After the superstorm ruined nine fuel cells that were meant to help heat and cool the building, One World Trade Center had to briefly operate without those green elements. Despite this setback, the 1,776-foot tower, designed by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), was able to achieve gold certification through its diverse range of sustainable features incorporated into its construction, design, and daily operation.

    The building has been designed to allow for less energy consumption, environmental impact, and minimization of waste generated throughout. It was constructed using more than 40 percent post-industrial recycled content, while the architectural design allows for more than 90 percent of the office areas to receive natural light, thereby reducing much of the need for heavy electrical lighting.

    Additionally, the building’s glass facade has special coating technology that blocks out excessive heat from ultra-violet rays; plus, the building captures 100 percent of its stormwater runoff on-site, maximizing water efficiency overall.

    © 2016 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved

  7. #14512


    One World Observatory had a special guest recently:

  8. #14513


    October 21, 2016

    One World Trade Center will get a 'sky lobby' designed by Gensler

    Workers in New York City’s tallest tower will benefit from the communal space


    Gensler’s design for the 64th-floor sky lobby at One World Trade Center (c) Tangram, courtesy of Gensler

    As the perks available in work spaces get ever more ridiculous—game rooms, custom-made art adorning the walls, beauty products on command—a simple communal space that’s available to a building’s employees might seem almost quaint. But when the building in question is One World Trade Center, an open space suddenly becomes a far more attractive employee perk.

    The Commercial Observer reports that the Durst Organization, which owns the supertall tower, has partnered with architecture firm Gensler to create a “shared piazza” on the building’s 64th floor, where the building’s tenants (which include Condé Nast, millennial-focused publisher Mic, and gaming company High 5 Games) can mingle and hang out.

    According to CO, the space will feature “a work cafe … a game room with table tennis and billiards along with a large room for meetings that can hold up to 180 people … [and] fitness and yoga classes.” (Of course.) It’ll also take advantage of the building’s enormous windows and large floorplans with a double-height ceiling, lots of seating, and more.

    Gensler’s Tom Vecchione, one of the project’s designers, told CO that the space “has that personality that office tenants of the next generation are looking for in an office environment”—i.e. well-designed and tech-friendly.

    Alas, it’s a perk that only employees of companies at One WTC and their guests will get to take advantage of, but it might provide more incentive for businesses to sign leases in the enormous tower. (There’s still plenty of space left, too.) And while it won’t provide as expansive a view as the Observatory on the 100th floor, the views will be plenty impressive—and that’s a perk you won’t find at the average office building.

    (c) Tangram, courtesy of Gensler

    (c) Tangram, courtesy of Gensler

    (c) Tangram, courtesy of Gensler

    (c) Tangram, courtesy of Gensler

    © 2016 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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