One World Trade Center Keeps Moving Forward

In my last post about One World Trade Center, I wrote about how the entire World Trade Center project was facing a number of roadblocks, from a bigger price tag to delays in construction. It seemed like the phoenix was in danger of stalling out at 93 floors.

As a matter of fact, One World Trade Center was always rising. According to the building’s designers, floors 94 through 99 technically don’t exist. The building’s 13 ft.¬†ceilings, 186 ft. uninhabited base and a few mechanical and service floors with ceilings over 13 feet account for this. With a planned height of 1,368 ft (1,776 with the pinnacle), the final floor count will be 104…somehow. ūüėȬ†In a matter of weeks, One World Trade Center will top out.

One World Trade Center is up to 100 floors now and stands high at 1,244 ft. It is only six feet away from overtaking the Empire State Building as the tallest building in New York City and third tallest building in the United States. Upon its completion, it will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and third tallest building in the world.

Four World Trade Center is also on schedule to top out later this month at 975 feet and 72 stories.

While the picture currently looks grim for both Two and Three World Trade Center, due to a lack of confirmed tenants, things could get better soon. One World Trade Center is the poster child for an effort to revitalize downtown Manhattan, in much the same way the original World Trade Center did in the 1970s. One World Trade Center is 60 percent leased and with the official logo that was recently released, it should be up to 100 percent very soon, bringing more tenants to the rest of the complex as well.

Official Logo for One World Trade Center

NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams did a special on the building’s construction. When William’s asked veteran journalist Harry Smith if he would work in One World Trade Center, Smith quickly responded…

In a heartbeat…you see it now, you go in it and realize, especially talking to the guys who work there how, literally,¬†safe it is…People are saying, ‘We’re not going to let the other guys win. We’re going in. We’re moving in. We’re going to work there.'”

It should also be noted that One World Trade Center will be one of the safest buildings in the world, both structurally and security-wise, as well as one of the most environmentally friendly. By the time the building opens next year, it will be more than ready to face the 21st century and beyond. The Phoenix continues to rise.

The World Trade Center - April 11, 2012

The iconic Empire State Building, as seen from one of the floors of One World Trade Center. Photo credit: John Makely, MSNBC (4/11/12)

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The Phoenix…..Hits Another Roadblock

The once-rapid progress at the World Trade Center site has been slowed to a near halt…again.

For years, the World Trade Center site hit setback after setback, until a couple of years ago, when design changes and bureaucratic gridlock appeared to be gone. The smooth sailing has hit the wall again.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the two-state infrastructure agency in charge of rebuilding the World Trade Center, was blasted as being “dysfunctional” and plagued with “poorly coordinated capital planning processes, insufficient cost controls, and a lack of transparent and effective oversight…” by auditors on Tuesday, February 5.

In 2008, the entire project had an estimated cost of about $11 billion. Independent companies that are contracting with the Port Authority said they would pay for a large part of the construction and the agency itself would only be spending a few billion (because, you know, that’s such a light number these days…). As of 2012, the cost has risen $3.8 billion, giving the site a current price tag of $14.8 billion. Even with independent companies picking up a large chunk of the tab, the Port Authority will end up spending nearly $8 billion, quite the far cry from the $6 billion estimate from way back when in 2008.

What did the Port Authority have to say? “It isn’t our fault!” They blamed the companies they had contracted with for delays and the bad economy, the latter becoming an increasingly irrelevant explanation.

Even before this report came out, I suspected something was wrong. I wrote monthly updates on progress at the World Trade Center site last year, using the title “The Phoenix Rises” followed by the appropriate month (ie: “November Edition”). Now it appears that the Phoenix is having a little trouble being reborn.

One World Trade Center’s (the main building in the complex) one-floor-a-week method of construction appeared to stop almost two months ago. Construction of the steel framework got to the 90th floor in mid December and then it awkwardly stopped. Since then, I’ve consistently checked construction updates and…..it’s early February and….still at the 90th floor. My plan was to write about how the tower had reached the 93rd-95th floor in January. By now, it should have been around 98 floors high.

The Port Authority blamed bad weather for the delayed construction….of almost two months. That would’ve been believable if it had been said in late December or early January.

Sadly, progress on both Two and Three World Trade Center has been postponed. Two World Trade Center, planned to be 88 stories, is stalled at ground level and the beautiful, cross-beam-styled Three World Trade Center, planned to be 80 floors, is in danger of becoming a seven story stump.

Let’s hope the Port Authority gets its act together, Oh, wait nevermind. It’s just the weather and those darn third parties…

World Trade Center - late January 2012

The Phoenix Rises (Last 2011 Update)

Day by day, beam by beam, panel by panel, One World Trade Center continues its journey into dominion over the New York sky. As of December 2, the tower’s steel structure towers 90 stories, 1,132 feet into the troposphere. Concrete flooring has been installed up to the 82nd floor and the sleek, glass-paneled facade covers 65 floors. Already, the tower is the third tallest building in New York (behind the iconic Empire State Building and Bank of America Tower).

In approximately one year (December 2012), One World Trade Center will be completed. The 1,776-ft-tall skyscraper will be opened to the public in early 2013, about 11 and a half years after the 9/11 attacks. One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, third tallest in the world (after the 2,723-ft-tall Burj Khalifa and the 1,972-ft-tall Abraj Al Bait) and a source of national pride for the United States.

Stay tuned for the next update, in January 2012, when One World Trade Center is around 93 floors high.

The World Trade Center - November 18, 2011 *credit: AP*

The Phoenix Rises (November 2011 Edition)

Over ten years ago, the worst terrorist attack in American history took thousands of lives and two American icons. For the past decade, Lower Manhattan had a large scar that, for a while, seemed like it would never heal. Progress for future development of Ground Zero was painfully slow as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation agonized over what exactly would become of what was once the World Trade Center.

Construction of what was originally named¬†“Freedom Tower” was slow. Construction started in 2006 and a completion date was set: The 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack on September 11, 2011. However, after bureaucratic disputes and redesigns of the Freedom Tower, now called One World Trade Center, progress was stalled further. New Yorkers and Americans wondered; Would the site ever be completed?

Early construction was slow. But when the hurdles were removed, construction crews worked quickly. As of November 1, 2011, One World Trade Center towers 88 stories into the Manhattan sky. Concrete flooring has been laid up to the 78th floor and the sleek, modern glass paneling has risen to cover 62 floors. The tower is expected to be 90 stories by mid November. The Port Authority has estimated completion to be at some point in 2013, when One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and third tallest in the world Рa symbolic 1,776 feet to the top of the antenna and 1,368 feet to the roof, the same height as the roof of Tower One of the original World Trade Center.

One World Trade Center - October 28, 2011 - source: "Joe.My.God." blog

The Phoenix Rises (August 2011 Edition)

As part of my monthly series on the progress of the new World Trade Center site, here’s the August edition.

One World Trade Center August 2011

Two World Trade Center August 2011

Three World Trade Center August 2011

Four World Trade Center August 2011

The New World Trade Center August 2011

 

 

…and here’s what the complex will look like when completed…

One World Trade Center 2013

Two World Trade Center 2015

Three World Trade Center 2014

Four World Trade Center 2013

The New World Trade Center (2014-2015)

 

For more information, as well as pictures and videos, visit the World Trade Center’s official website: http://www.wtc.com/

 

The Phoenix Rises…

The World Trade Center site is rapidly changing. The site of the most devastating terrorist attack on US soil is now the focal point of New York’s and the nation’s revitalized spirits. Bin Laden is dead, One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) is rising and the complex is taking shape.

Below is a picture, taken by CBS’s New York affiliate, of the progress of One World Trade Center. The phoenix is rising fast.

One World Trade Center - May 5, 2011

 

Here is the link to CBS New York’s official photo gallery of the progress at Ground Zero: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/photo-galleries/2011/05/05/world-trade-center-and-911-memorial-construction-update/