Wtc Anniversary 9/11 ~ Gossip and News

Wtc Anniversary 9/11

The view up New York from the 69th floor of One World Trade Center sweeps so far into the distance that you can see the curvature of the earth. To the other side stands the Statue of Liberty, and beyond her, the Atlantic Ocean.
The glistening new heart of ground zero is now 80 of 104 floors complete, and growing by a storey a week. In 2013, after years of wrangling and delays, it should stand finished at 1,776 feet, a gesture to the year Americans first asserted their freedom.
As brave ironworkers clanged about overhead this week, The Daily Telegraph wandered through its bare concrete corridors and, through holes in the netting where the windows will be, glimpsed the breathtaking sights awaiting those who will become the first to clock in to work here for 12 years.
"I wanted to do a building like an obelisk," said David Childs, the architect, "a marker that said 'this is where this great tragedy occurred'." Like the Washington monument, he said, "it would be an iconic building, not so much about itself, but as the marker for that event and this city".
The tower will include 2.6 million square feet of plush office space, a third of which has been snapped up by Condé Nast, the magazine publisher. There will be an observation deck more than 1,241ft up, and the obligatory restaurants offering finest dining.
Its antenna will make it 49ft taller than the twin towers. It is "already the tallest building in the US, and will soon be the tallest in the western hemisphere", said Bill Baroni, the deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.
Yet beneath the sales pitch is a humbler site than was buried under almost two million tonnes of rubble ten years ago. While the twin towers opened as the world's tallest buildings, One WTC will rank only 16th, the ambition for going higher and higher having departed for the East.
Standing amid a cluster other towers including Lord Foster's 1,349-ft Tower 2, and Lord Rogers's 1,170-ft Tower 3, the main building – stripped of its original grandiose name, The Freedom Tower – will blend in to its surroundings where its stark predecessors deliberately clashed with theirs.
At the hushed plaza below, elegant reflecting pools have been dug into the twin towers' footprints, while swaths of concrete are now covered in 225 swamp white oak trees, and one pear tree – the "survivor tree" – rescued from the original site. "We think we've reached a special balance between remembering and rebuilding," said Mr Baroni.
Always lingering is the question of whether another 9/11 could happen here. Chris Ward, the Port Authority chief, has said the new tower could "absolutely" cope with an attack. "What you see is a beautiful building," he said. "But what's inside that skin is a building in direct response to that terrible day."

Built on a 186-foot, windowless pedestal designed to withstand a truck bomb, One WTC's façade is wrapped in thousands of 900-pound panes of "shatterproof" glass. Inside is an emergency lift system for rescue workers, and extra-wide stairwells pressurised to keep out smoke. A thick spine of reinforced concrete runs through the building where the twin towers relied on steel tubes.

Asked how secure it was after the earthquake that struck New York City last month, Larry Silverstein, the developer, said: "Impenetrable". But could it withstand an earthquake? "Impenetrable," he replied.

As they prepare to enter the second decade without so much lost that day, New Yorkers are hoping that he is right. "This is not just about buildings, it's about memory," said Daniel Libeskind, the site's master planner. "It is the victory of life that we are celebrating."

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