Rebuilding the WTC

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, two commercial jet planes struck the Twin Towers, causing their collapse and the destruction of the four other WTC buildings. The attack killed 2,750 people at the Trade Center, many of them emergency responders. The collapse of 7 WTC, which had already been evacuated, followed at 5:20 p.m. that day.

The new 7 World Trade Center is the first office tower at the site to be rebuilt. According to architect David Childs, it “serves as the gateway to the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan...and sets a new standard of commercial building design and construction in New York and across the country.” Opened on May 23rd, 2006, the 52-story building is taller and narrower than its predecessor, and is the first certified “green” building to be constructed in New York City.

Across Vesey Street, Childs’ innovative designs appear again at 1 World Trade Center, which the Port Authority began building in April 2006. The tower marks the 1,362- and 1,368-feet heights of the original towers with a metal and glass parapet, and will rise to 1,776 feet with its illuminated antenna.

1 World Trade Center already is the most famous element of architect Daniel Libeskind’s WTC Master Plan. That scheme, finalized in 2003, proposed a descending spiral of towers beginning at the site’s northwest corner and ending at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, where the Twin Towers’ footprints will be memorialized.

Designs for the remaining WTC Towers Two, Three, and Four were unveiled in September 2006 at 7 World Trade Center. To create individually distinct towers that fit within the Master Plan, Silverstein brought together an unprecedented group of architectural talent: Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Fumihiko Maki. A fifth office tower on Liberty Street, the Santiago Calatrava–designed WTC Transportation Hub, performing arts center, memorial and museum will complete the vision for the site.

After several years of insurance disputes and construction negotiations, Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority are moving forward to open all of the new WTC skyscrapers by 2015. The Port also completed a new “east bathtub” like that of the original west bathtub, where 2, 3 and 4 WTC and the Transportation Hub will rise.

The redeveloped WTC site, including the reduced footprint of 7 WTC, will restore Greenwich Street through the site, reuniting the Financial District with Tribeca and supporting the renaissance of Lower Manhattan.