One by One: Buildings Rise on the World Trade Center Site

The World Trade Center site has become of a deep sentimental value since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. People visit it to pay tribute to all of those who lost their lives in the attacks. The past 17 years have been a long and arduous journey for the city, and for the country. The site has shown tremendous progress, with the World Trade Center Memorial opening on the 10th anniversary of the attack. There have been numerous structures that have been built since then, and there are many more yet to be built.

Photography: Max Touhey

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As the city of New York continued to clear the debris, Daniel Libeskind proposed a master plan for the site, with a record-breaking structure called the Freedom Tower. Various architects and architectural firms designed the buildings in the master plan while Libeskind continued to develop the overall plan. Here is a list of the buildings proposed for the site:

The Buildings in the World Trade Center Site:

1 World Trade Center

This structure is designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merril (SOM) and David Childs. It’s a 104-story-high tower, with a 408-foot-high steel spire antenna. It reaches a symbolic height of 1,776 feet, gaining itself the title of the tallest building in the US. It opened on September 11, 2014.

Photography: Max Touhey

2 World Trade Center

This tower, located at 200 Greenwich, was initially to be designed by Norman Foster. Later on, 21st Century Fox and Corporations came in as tenants and scrapped the Foster design. They brought in Bjarke Ingels and his boxy design. The design had two faces: a somber and reserved side overlooking the Memorial and the Tribeca side featuring a stepped design.
In a bizarre twist, 21st Century Fox backed out of the deal in 2016. However, the 90-story-high design by BIG has not been discarded. The tower’s construction is yet to start, and the site already has a couple of murals where the building will eventually rise.

Courtesy Of BIG/Silverstein Properties

3 World Trade Center

This design by Richard Rogers and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners uses diamond shaped braces on its exterior. With no interior columns, this 80-story structure is the fifth tallest building in the US. With a total height of 1,079 feet, the tower had its grand opening in June 2018.

Courtesy Of Drew Angerer/Getty

4 World Trade Center

The elegant and minimalistic design by Fumihiko Maki has a total area of 2.5 million square feet. It opened in November 2013 and was one of the first buildings to be opened to the public at the World Trade Center site. Each corner of the-72 story structure extends to a different height, with the highest reaching up to 977 feet.

Photography: Jackie Craven

5 World Trade Center

JP Morgan was supposed to have a new 42-story structure designed by Kohn Pederson Fox at the World Trade Center site. The structure would have cantilevered over the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. However, there are no longer any plans for development at this part of the site for the time being.

6 World Trade Center

This structure designed by David Childs and SOM was the first building to be rebuilt in this site. It was opened to the public in 2006. The 741-feet-tall structure comprises 52 floors and sits on 1.5 acres north of the 16-acre site of the Memorial. With a total area of 1.7 million-square-foot, the tower is fully leased. It stands on the site of the original 7 WTC that was destroyed in the aftermath of 9/11.

World Trade Center Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial was opened to the families of the victims on the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attack. The official public opening was held the next day. The memorial is a large open-air plaza with twin reflecting pools. The dual 1-acre pools are located exactly where the twin towers used to stand. The water descends down from sides of the pool into the foundation, creating artificial waterfalls, known as “Reflecting Absence”. They are the USA’s largest man-made waterfalls. Architect Micheal Arad designed the 30-foot-long waterfalls, while the serene landscape surrounding them was designed by Landscape architect Peter Walker.
The plaza that surrounds the pool has 400 North American Swamp White oak trees as well as the special Callery Pear Tree. The latter is known as the Survivor Tree as it has survived and flourished after the attacks had burnt and broken it down.
The names of the nearly 3000 victims are written on bronze panels surrounding the pools. At night, the cascading waterfalls look like shimmering curtains and the names appear to be carved in gold.

Photography: Max Touhey

World Trade Center Memorial Pavilion and Museum

The Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta designed these two structures, which opened in 21st May 2014. The Pavilion is the only above-ground structure in the Memorial Plaza. The glass entryway leads visitors to the underground museum, while the leaf-like design complements the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
The Memorial museum houses two tridents from the steel facade of the North Tower (WTC -1) and can be seen without paying the museum admission. The museum also has 500 hours of video, 10,000 artifacts, and 23000 images on display. The portraits of the 2977 people who lost their lives in 9/11 have an interactive feature next to them. Visitors can learn more about the individuals in the image.
The Foundation Hall has a wall from the foundation of one of the towers as well as the 36-foot tall column with the missing posters that were placed after the attack. Also, one of the permanent exhibits at the museum is the “Rebirth at Ground Zero”, a film on the rise of the new WTC.

Courtesy Of Allan Tannenbaum-Pool/Getty

World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Located between 2 WTC and 3 WTC, this bright transportation hub was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The Spanish architect designed the structure to provide easy access to the World Financial Center Ferries and the Subway lines. This structure has now become a landmark in Lower Manhattan.

Courtesy Of Drew Angerer/Getty

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Photography: Max Touhey

Ronald O Perelman Performing Arts Center

Originally, this structure was designed by Frank Gehry. However, the economic conditions and Gehry’s controversial design for the 100-seat-center slowed down the progress. In 2016, Ronald O Perelman donated $75 million to the development of the Performing Arts Center (PAC), in exchange for naming rights. Afterward, architect Joshua Prince-Ramus, founding principal of REX, designed the PAC and a cafe on the site. The PAC will have three small theater spaces that could be joined to form a larger theater when needed.

Envisioned by Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX. LUXIGON/Silverstein Properties

Liberty Park

This 1-acre elevated park is located south of the World Trade Center Memorial and overlooks the World Trade Center site. It is home to Fritz Konig’s Sphere—a sculpture that once stood between the towers, and was damaged by the 9/11 attacks.
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