Editor’s note: NYC-based architect Bhushan Mondkar, formerly at Studio Daniel Libeskind, the firm responsible for the master plan for the World Trade Center Site, reflects on construction of 4 WTC over the past five years with his accompanying photographs.
After being chosen to redesign the World Trade Center site in February 2003, architect Daniel Libeskind declared, “Soon, the Lower Manhattan skyline will be home once again to towering skyscrapers. At a resonant 1776 feet tall, the Freedom Tower, second in importance only to the 9/11 memorial itself — will rise above its predecessors, reasserting the preeminence of freedom and beauty, restoring the spiritual peak to the city and proclaiming America’s resilience even in the face of profound danger, of our optimism even in the aftermath of tragedy. Life, victorious.”
When it was decided that 1 World Trade Center’s needle would not no longer be enclosed by a radome, its potential status as the tallest building in the United States was called into question. The technicality was over whether the needle was considered an antenna or a spire. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has just ruled it to be a spire, which is considered structural. This brings the building to its planned 1,776 feet (and 1,368 feet without the spire, which is was the height of the north tower of the original Twin Towers), beating out Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). Despite this coup, the building still contains quite a bit of “vanity height,”–uninhabitable floors that nonetheless increase the statue of a building.
This Wednesday November 13, 4 World Trade Center will officially open. As the first new WTC building to open since 7 World Trade Center was finished in 2006, this marks a great milestone in the progress of post 9/11 reconstruction. It’s also the first building to open on the actual original World Trade Center site.
These are our picks for this week’s Best of Untapped Cites Photo Pool. Remember to hashtag your pictures with #untappedcitie to have your photos featured! Keep an eye on what everyone is snapping by viewing our live feed.
Untapped Cities reader g1g1_nyc pointed us out to these little known 9/11 Memorials inside the Church of St. Francis of Assisi on 31st Street between 6th and 7th Avenue. Three pieces of steel recovered from the World Trade Center site are displayed in front of a stained glass window (shown below) commemorating those lost, which included Friar Michael Judge, chaplain of the FDNY and Carol LaPlante, a secular Franciscan.
Tribute in Light 2012, viewed from Jersey City. photo via Flickr.
Get yourself downtown tomorrow night because the Tribute in Light begins at sunset on 9/11, ending at sunrise on 9/12. This installation of 88 searchlights is set up in Ground Zero has been a tribute of the towers that once stood for over a decade.The lights can be seen from as far as 60 miles away on a clear night. The tribute has seen a lot of controversy, including several termination dates, but ultimately the installation remains a major spectacle of New York City’s ceremonies on this date, now taken over by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. We previously went behind-the-scenes into the installation of the famous lights, with photos here.