One World Trade continues to rise with the spire yet to come. Today, the Port Authority gave AN access to the 103rd floor. In a mad dash we took a few hundred photos, which we quickly whittled down to these 34. What's missing are the sounds: workers shouting, metal clanging, and Queen's "We Will Rock You" playing from a radio on the ride up. Tomorrow, we're stopping by to visit One World's little brother, Four World Trade. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow. All photos by Tom Stoelker / The Architect's Newspaper.
Posts tagged with "World Trade Center":
The Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey released a handful of new interior and exterior renderings of a value-engineered version of original designs for One World Trade. Clearly the long-term maintenance argument won out over David Childs' proposal for a sculpture-clad spire instead of a simple antenna. The resulting design seems far more efficient, if not aesthetically complete. Noticeably absent is Silverstein's yet-to-be-leased towers Two and Three, which won't rise until an anchor tenant is found. But neither collapsed cranes or a fire this morning will slow the tower from its relentless climb.
After fits and starts the General Services Administration finally signed on the dotted line to lease 270,000 square feet at One World Trade, pushing the tower over the symbolic 50 percent leased mark. “The fat lady sang,” Senator Charles Schumer told the New York Post. The GSA joins Condé Nast and Chinese real estate giant Vantone after a protracted negotiation that was stalled by Beltway bickering.
At a panel discussion on architecture journalism held at the Center for Architecture last month, the New York Post's Steve Cuozzo griped that The New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman had yet to weigh in on the 9/11 Memorial. Indeed, even the Times's go-to architecture reporter Robin Pogrebin had to concur. She noted that she too had raised the question. Nevertheless, World Trade Center reporting—let alone criticism—can be a full time job. Although Pogrebin continues to report on the cultural venues slated for the site, the architectural aspects of the project have been the province of David Dunlap from the get-go. With the topping of Four World Trade today at 977 feet, Dunlap once again provides a highly detailed report, as he did two weeks ago in his analysis of the grossly altered designs of One World Trade. Standing in the shadow of One World Trade, Dunlap notes that architects Fumihiko Maki and Osamu Sassa have no problem with his building being labeled "the biggest skyscraper New Yorkers have never heard of." "Subtlety extends one’s appreciation," Sassa told the Times. Kimmelman, meanwhile, has made a trip to the area, but to review a glass canopy, "in the shadow of One World Trade Center no less."
The Westfield Group made it official yesterday: They will be curating the 450,000 square feet of retail space at the World Trade Center, the New York Post reported. The group made a $93 million payment to the Port Authority toward the $612.5 million deal that will bring retail to the podia of Towers Four and Three, the transportation hub, and along Church & Dey streets. If all goes as planned, an additional 90,000 square feet will be added in Tower Two as well, but first an anchor tenant for Tower Three seems to be the most pressing bit of unmet business.
It wasn't a usual trip to the World Trade Center site today as AN segued over to the river to get a glimpse of the Space Shuttle Enterprise's flyover. We caught the shuttle on its second loop at 10:55 on the dot. The pristine prototype shuttle skimmed south over New Jersey on its way round the Statue of Liberty. In all, a very uplifting day when combined with news that the One World Trade will likely surpass the Empire State Building as the city's tallest building by this Monday. Come summer the shuttle will make a barge trip up the river to its new home at the Intrepid Museum. No news yet on speculation that new building across the street from the museum might house the shuttle. Back at the WTC site, construction is humming, with the exception of the 9/11 Museum which stopped after legal wrangling ensued between the museum and the Port Authority over money. Last week, capitalnewyork.com reported subcontractors were slated to be paid by the Port, hinting that an agreement over the disputed $150 million might soon be reached. Since AN last report in February, several developments have appeared. Fumihiko Maki's Tower 4 continues to climb, and the triangular volume at the top has asserted itself above its rhombus base. The pedestal for Richard Rogers Tower 3 now looms over Church Street, though an anchor tenant has yet to be announced. The WTC overlook of the site at Brookfield's World Financial Center is shuttered as work begins on a $250 million retail renovation. The oculus at the Fulton Street Transit Center is now fully formed. Next to Seven World Trade, CUNY's Fitterman Hall by Pei Cobb Freed slapped its brick paneled curtain wall together in what seemed like weeks. The panelized red-brick face provides a disjointed contrast to WTC's valley of glass and steel at its doorstep.
Downtown Express reports that NYPD will be battening down access to WTC "campus" in lower Manhattan. This week a new safety plan was presented at Community Board 1's Redevelopment Committee meeting, and community members were dismayed by the multiple Checkpoint Charlie-like blocks on streets around the site proper. Said one resident of neighboring Cedar Street, “I don’t see a way to go home in a cab in front of my door without going through two checkpoints. We’re not talking about parking – we’re talking about access to the front door the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, with a cab full of groceries and 24 people for dinner.”
The latest bridge from Spanish tension-element guru Santiago Calatrava, renowned architect behind the Milwaukee Art Museum, Puente del Alamillo, and the upcoming World Trade Center Transportation Hub, will be his first vehicular bridge in the United States. Construction has been completed on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the first in a series of Calatrava-designed crossings over Dallas' Trinity River. It will act as a literal and metaphorical gateway to the city. This new bridge links the banks of the Trinity River, with hopes of making the area a lively gathering place. Calatrava wants to rethink the riverfront and its capacity to bring in development as part of the city's urban revitalization efforts. He stated he envisions the Trinity River Corridor as the heart of the city, a recreational area much like New York's Central Park. The bridge is the first step in making the waterfront a focal point for recreation. “During my first visit to Dallas I realized that the river basin had the potential to be of defining importance to the city’s future development,” said Calatrava. The structure is a signature Calatrava design with glowing white arch and supporting suspension cables. Supporting over 14,000 cars per day, the new bridge is part of a larger project involving the replacement of Interstate Highway 30. The Trinity Trust Group, a nonprofit supporting revitalization of the riverfront, will host a series of inaugural events, and Calatrava will be in Dallas this weekend for an opening ceremony complete with fireworks, a Lyle Lovett concert, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Fingers crossed that the architect himself will hoist the giant scissors.) The bridge is planned to open to traffic March 29.
The long-expected audit of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is available, and—apart from the opaque bureaucratese—it reads just like the dysfunctional family memoir you might expect. In fact, the word dysfunctional is at the top of the summary letter sent to Governors Chris Christie of NJ and Andrew Cuomo of NY. To wit, the Navigant Consulting assessment concluded that the PA is “a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from lack of consistent leadership, a siloed underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning processes, insufficient cost controls, and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center program.” Some highlights: The WTC balloon effect with estimated construction costs launched at approximately $8 billion in 2006 rising to $11 billion in November 2011 (blamed largely on getting ready for the tenth anniversary) and now floating past $14.8 billion—the $3 billion increase of recent months due to “changes in scope and the evolution of design” including foundation site work for the Performing Arts Center to the tune of $200 million, even though the new board claimed at the New year that a site has not yet be decided. The PA “may elect to curtail development” of elements that owe them money, meaning the 9/11 Memorial. When the memorial was to cost $500 million the port was in for $195 million; now that it may top a billion, the PA is not so sure it wants to pony up $300 million. As a result, “The Port Authority has elected to significantly reduce the construction personnel deployed on the museum portion of the Memorial project and limit the agency’s exposure, ensuring that only certain construction continues prior to the resolution of the cost reimbursement dispute.” Further, the PA wants to buffer its exposure by “value engineering all possible aspects of the World Trade Center project.” But there is no specific mention of further cutting off the wings at Calatrava’s teradactyl transportation hub. To further deal with an anticipated debt by the end of 2012 to the tune of $20.8 billion, the PA is turning to employees to start paying for their own healthcare, cut back on overtime and take less vacation time. Quote the drag for police sergeants with a base salary of $103,964 and an overtime add-on of $132, 286.
It's been one year since we began walking the circumference of the World Trade Center site and taking photos of the progress. A lot can happen in a year. The city and state are in a tussle over the Memorial Museum bringing construction there to a halt. Larry Silverstein has threatened to cap Tower Three at at seven stories instead of 80 if he doesn't get a lead tenant by the end of the year. Pat Foye, the new head of the Port Authority has called the PA's Trade Center focus a "mission drift" and ordered a special committee to audit the years overseen by his predecessor, Chris Ward. And now The New York Post reports that the underground loading dock for One World Trade won't be completed by the time the first tenants move in. News from the last couple of months has been so bad that we thought we'd sift through some of our old photos to focus on the work that was completed over the past year. And while One World Trade continues its march upward (it's nearing the 1,776 feet), other projects on or near the site are almost complete or are on schedule to be finished in the next couple of years. Brookfield's renovations of the World Financial Center have begun. Work at Fulton Street Transit Station by Grimshaw continues to chug forward. CUNY's Fiterman Hall by Pei Cobb Freed was recently capped. And a new visitors center for the memorial opened on West Street.
Richard Rogers' planned 80-story Three World Trade Center could come in a little short—okay, 73-stories short—if office tenants aren't found for the under-construction tower by the end of the year. Crain’s reports that developer Larry Silverstein plans to cap the tower at seven floors and fill the podium with retail uses. If an anchor tenant is later found—as late as 2020—the building's cap can be removed and construction resumed to reach its original height. Experts said the economy is to blame as large-scale office tenants are reluctant to spend millions on new space. "The willingness of large-scale tenants to commit in this environment is limited because companies don't want to go out and spend a lot of money," Peter Hennessy, president of Cassidy Turley's New York Tristate Region, told Crain's. "It's not the building; it's the market." News of the potential capping comes as no surprise, as a 2010 agreement between Silverstein and the Port Authority dictated that the developer prelease 400,000 square feet and line up $300 million for Three World Trade before the agency would back the project's debt. Silverstein's adjacent 72-story Four World Trade Center by Fumihiko Maki pre-leased about 600,000 square feet of space and will be complete next year.
It had to happen before midnight December 31. And it did, although quietly. Downtown Express reports that five founding board members for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center (PAC) were announced by National September 11 Memorial President Joe Daniels in the nick of time, in order not to forfeit access to $100 million in LMDC funds set aside in fall 2010 for the lone surviving cultural venue--apart from the September 11 museum--at the site, where once many were envisioned as the most sure-fire way to lift ground zero out of the psychological depths of mourning for the lost. The first board members of PAC to be designed by Frank Gehry will be, in addition to Mayor Bloomberg, who is chair of the National September 11 Memorial board but will be represented ex-officio by First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris: Vidicom founder Christy Ferer; CB1 Chairwoman Julie Menin; developer Larry Silverstein; Brookfield’s John Zuccotti; and Zenia Mucha, a vice president at Walt Disney Company. In addition to fundraising, the board will make the decision about the performing arts center’s location, currently thought to be directly east of One World Trade Center, although the site for Tower 5 is also in play and is the choice of board member Menin. The $100 million will support construction and administrative costs. An additional $60 million will finance Gehry’s design, “one-sixth of which has already been spent,” according to Downtown Express.