The latest bad news at ground zero is that costs continue to mount for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. A report that found costs rose 85 percent since the project began in 2006, to $14.8 billion, placed a great deal of responsibility for these cost overruns on prior leadership at the Port.
The Neverending Story
The Port Authority has just released the preliminary findings of its agency-wide review, the biggest, if least surprising, news of which is that the cost of redeveloping the World Trade Center continues to sky rocket. The price has risen from the $11 billion estimated in 2008 to a current estimate of $14.8 billion. That is almost twice as expensive as the project was initially expected to cost when first announced in 2006, with a price tag of $8 billion. Read More
So maybe it wasn’t a bombshell after all, the “news” yesterday that Larry Silverstein might not be able to finish 3 World Trade Center all the way, leaving it instead as a seven-story retail and mechanical stump for the time being. In a statement, the downtown don insists he will find a tenant, and he has about two years to do it before he must truly pull the trigger and decide to cap the tower or to keep building. Read More
One of the enduring challenges at the World Trade Center—besides who will lease up the offices—has been what the base of Tower 1 would look like. Fears persisted that the 185-foot concrete shell demanded by the N.Y.P.D. would look like exactly that, a giant bunker. The solution, arrived at by a harried team of architects in less than a month back in 2005, was waves of crenelated glass that would turn the entire structure into a giant crystal.
The only problem was, that approach proved almost impossible to produce when the fabricators began creating mock-ups of the structure earlier this year. The glass would shatter too easily, a major issue for a high-traffic tower that could be susceptible to another attack. The architects at SOM returned to the drawing board and created a solution that is at once very similar to and totally different from their original proposal, a new plan that was approved yesterday by the board of the Port Authority.
The main goal was achieving an aesthetic solution to this ongoing challenge, though it turns out the biggest different between the two plans is economic—the new curtain wall will cost less than half the price of the original one, $37.2 million. Read More
In perhaps the final capstone to the 9/11 commemorations, Larry Silverstein has found his final tenant for 7 World Trade Center. Considered a boondoggle by many when Mr. Silverstein decided to rebuild the glass tower shortly after the attacks, it opened in May 2006 and was slow to find tenants, the first of which was the New York Academy of Sciences.
Slowly but surely more firms arrived, and now MSCI has joined them on the 47th through 49th floors of the 52-story building—it was the tallest structure downtown until recently being surpassed by its big brother. Read More
David Childs, the design leader at SOM for three decades now—his first smash was the postmodern Worldwide Plaza in Midtown, his latest the union-busting 7 World Trade Center—has come under plenty of criticism over the years for his design of 1 World Trade Center. Not only did people find it to be a dumbed-down version of Daniel Libeskind’s heavenly spire, but its signature feature, those chamfered corners, were nothing new either.
Numerous predecessors were pointed out, including one official entry by two students to the master planning competition. Now, a China-based reader sends along another from his side of the world, and it looks like almost an exact replica, down to the circular array surrounding the antenna. Read More
For the past nine years, two gigantic beams of light have shown over Lower Manhattan—a beacon of loss and hope, a searchlight for something that would never be found and yet would stay with all New Yorkers forever.
Known as the Tribute in Light, it was a public art project created by the Municipal Art Society and Creative Time to commemorate the fallen Twin Towers. Beginning six months after 9/11, and relit every anniversary thereafter, the temporary, luminous memorial will return this year for the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It could be for the last time ever. Read More
With all his success at rebuilding the World Trade Center, Chris Ward has sometimes been criticized for not sharing the spotlight. But in Jim Dwyer’s About New York column today—the first in months—Mr. Ward gives credit to at least three of the guys who helped solve one of the biggest challenges at the site: How to get the memorial plaza built by the 10th anniversary, instead of some time in 2013. Read More
For a good long while after the events of 9/11, there was a call to rebuild the World Trade Center just as it was the day before the attacks. This was an idea not without precedent. Everywhere from the Hebrew Temple to the Madison White House to the Super Dome, humanity has been rebuilding their monuments after wars and disasters. Rarely, though, are the buildings exactly the same, as had been so vocally proposed here. Read More
So much for things humming along at the World Trade Center. A handful of concrete unions have walked off the job, and while it has not immediately jeopardized work on the site, should the strike drag on, progress on the office towers could come to a halt weeks away from the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Read More
Chris Ward’s days as head of the Port Authority may be numbered, but he is determined to do as much as possible before he gets the boot sometime after the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Who knows, it might even save his job. In addition to driving World Trade Center ever-skyward and fixing up bus stations no one even knows existed, the Port Authority is now approaching a deal with an Australian mall operator to run the hip, new retail at the site. Read More
“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go, downtown,” sang CB Richard Ellis’ managing director Sheldon L. Cohen quietly as people filed into the brokerage’s quarterly press conference this morning.
“Downtown” was certainly the buzzword of the morning, and the location only echoed that: Read More
Larry Silverstein’s been through a lot. The World Trade Center developer let everyone know at an N.Y.U. Schack Institute conference today.
Mr. Silverstein on getting hit by a drunk driver:
“Final bids [on the original Twin Towers] were submitted on the 30th of January in 2001. On the 25th day of January, I was walking Read More