I recently visited my brother’s office, overlooking Church Street in lower Manhattan, and had a great view of the World Trade Center complex. My bro is one of thousands of people working on the reconstruction of the World Trade Center.
It’s hard to appreciate the scale of this massive construction project from ground level … seeing it from above really drove home how much work has already been done below the surface. Foundational work included clearing the debris down to the bedrock, replacing huge retaining walls, and then rebuilding several stories of commuter train lines and subway lines … all below ground level.
Now the buildings are starting to rise above the surface, most notably Tower One, which will be the complex’s main tower and at 1,776 feet will be slightly taller than the original Twin Towers. (Yes, the 1776 figure was deliberately chosen.) One World Trade Center is going up at a rate of a floor per week, and is already past the halfway point and should be finished by this time next year. It will include 3 million square feet of office space, 104 floors, an observation deck, two skyline restaurants, and a ton of shopping.
Here is the site plan to the World Trade Center, courtesy of the Port Authority of NY/NJ’s World Trade Center Web site. (Click around the site, as there is a lot of cool information about the revitalized World Trade Center complex.) My vantage point is from the building colored yellow and marked with a purple star.
Here is the shot I took out from my brother’s office window in mid-January, 2011.
1. Tower 1 – One World Trade Center
2. One of the world’s tallest cranes!
3. Footprint of South Tower (to become memorial pool)
4. Footprint of North Tower (to become memorial pool)
5. Performing Arts Center
6. Transportation Hub (PATH terminal)
7. Tower 4
8. Visitors’ Center
9. WTC Memorial
As one who grew up seeing the New York skyline with the Twin Towers marking the southern end of Manhattan, I am extremely stoked that this sad, gaping hole in the city’s skyline will soon be filled.