Ground Zero Photos Show Substantial Progress Made on 9/11 Memorial [Gallery]

On Friday, Gothamist’s Jake Dobkin went down to the World Trade Center site to see how construction of 1 World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial is progressing

  • Looking down at the 9/11 Memorial from the top of 1 WTC. The image shows the eight-acre plaza landscaped with a small forest of oak trees and construction below One World Trade Center. Photo and caption by Jake Dobkin/GothamistLooking down at the 9/11 Memorial from the top of 1 WTC. The image shows the eight-acre plaza landscaped with a small forest of oak trees and construction below One World Trade Center. Photo and caption by Jake Dobkin/Gothamist
  • A view from the top of One World Trade Center looking south as it rises 70 stories above Ground Zero. It will stand at 1,776ft as the Manhattan's tallest building. Photo and caption by Jake Dobkin/GothamistA view from the top of One World Trade Center looking south as it rises 70 stories above Ground Zero. It will stand at 1,776ft as the Manhattan's tallest building. Photo and caption by Jake Dobkin/Gothamist

For nearly ten years since 9/11 terrorist attacks, New York residents have been waiting and watched as construction of One World Trade Center has gone underway.

These breathtaking photos show the progress being made on the $3billion facility, which will rise to a symbolic 1,776ft in 2013 – becoming the tallest building in Manhattan.

Photographer Jake Dobkin took this incredible set of photos, published by Gothamist.com, on Friday from the top of One World Trade Center – rising 70 stories above Ground Zero. It will rise to 72 next week.

Designed by renowned architect David Childs, One World Trade Center – formerly known as Freedom Tower until 2009 – will include three million square feet of office space, an observation deck over 1,241ft above ground and a sprawling public lobby boasting 50ft ceilings.

The new images also show progress being made on the the 9/11 Memorial, designed by the winning team of Michael Arad and Peter Walker, set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers, on an eight-acre plaza landscaped with a small forest of oak trees.

Photos of construction workers (there are 3,000 on site) echo the Port Authority’s assurance to the waiting public that extensive progress has been made in the last several months. Construction began in 2006.

A spokesman for Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward told Gothamist: ‘We are building a city within a city. Three years ago, we decided where this project should be on the 10th Anniversary and every year after. Establish clear goals and priorities, then harness the imagination and ingenuity of our builders – that has been the path to progress.’

Several other construction sites can be seen in the images, including Seven World Trade Center, which stands 52 stories tall. It is owned by Silverstein Properties, which is also building Two, Three and Four World Trade Center.

One and Five World Trade Center are being constructed by the Port Authority.

Its website calls the new World Trade Center ‘a testament to its predecessor’ – a place that will hold significance for many following the 2001 terror atrocity, that claimed almost 3,000 lives.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum will provide visitors ‘with a place for contemplation, reflection and remembrance,’ it says.

Visitors will enter the Museum from an entry pavilion, designed by Norweigen architectural firm Snøhetta, that features two of the original World Trade Center’s signature tridents.

In May, security fears were raised over the new World Trade Center skyscraper’s security after ‘confidential’ detailed schematics of the building were posted online.

Documents showing the locations of One World Trade Center’s mechanical rooms, ventilation shafts, exits, elevators and stairs were posted on the New York City’s Department of Finance website.

The secure schematics, described as for ‘official use only’ also show ground floor entrances and where the PATH rail tunnels will pass below, prompting fears terrorist commandos could mount attack on replacement for the Twin Towers, described as ‘the nation’s no.1 terror target’.

The 17 downloadable Port Authority schematics also designated which floors can be leased out and which cannot.

The Port Authority said the documents were ‘scrubbed’ of sensitive information about One World Trade Center’s electrical systems, plumbing, security and fire safety.

The agency said in a statement: ‘The Port Authority provided scrubbed drawings to our consultants. While their default template is marked ‘secure’ and ‘confidential,’ the pictures in that frame are not.

Port Authority officials blamed architectural consultant Beyer Blinder Belle for using the ‘confidential’ stamp on the documents, which they say are safe for public use.

It wasn’t the first time security fears were raised. In 2008, the Port Authority vowed to review its security after a homeless New York man found hundreds of pages of confidential schematics in a dumpster.

Now, as construction reaches new heights, progress appears to be going so well reports suggest One World Trade Center could open ahead of schedule.

The Port Authority has yet to comment on the claims; the building is currently scheduled to be unveiled in summer 2013.
[Gothamist via Daily Mail (UK)]

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