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I'd walked down to Ground Zero about April and several of the structures were well into the process of sprouting up, with 1 World Trade about half of what is written for July in wiki below. Yesterday, going down 6th Avenue, I saw that it really was filling in the space left empty by the terrorist attacks 9 years ago, and by the time I got upstairs to my 5th floor apt., I was even able to see 2 storeys or so going up to the sky: You can't see from my place the surrounding WorldFinancial Center buildings which were not destroyed, like Amex and Merrill Lynch --or what used to be Merrill Lynch, may still be--and never could, so this was pretty exciting to me.

Here's what wiki says about the progress of the building:

"As of July 2010, 1 WTC's steel superstructure is 340 feet above ground and is on floor 32 and concrete installation is on floors 26 and 27. As of September 10th 2010, One World Trade Center has risen to 38 stories, becoming part of the skyline of New York."

Here's the whole wiki entry if you want to know more about it:


As I mentioned in another thread recently, 7 World Trade Center was completed in 2006:

"The name "7 World Trade Center" has referred to two buildings: the original structure, completed in 1987, and the current structure. The original building was destroyed on September 11, 2001, and replaced with the new 7 World Trade Center, which opened in 2006. Both buildings were developed by Larry Silverstein, who holds a ground lease for the site from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey."

With these facts in mind, it is particularly disconcerting that Frank Rich would have written the following in his Aug. 22 op-ed in the NYTimes:

"Though many of these ground-zero watchdogs partied at the 2004 G.O.P. convention in New York exploiting 9/11, none of them protested that a fellow Republican, the former New York governor George Pataki, so bollixed up the management of the World Trade Center site that nine years on it still lacks any finished buildings, let alone a permanent memorial."

I am especially disappointed in such sloppiness, by himself, a New Yorker, and editors who could possibly let such common knowledge pass for rhetorical purposes--because I tend to be mostly on his side of political and social issues, usually think he's got the right idea on most things. This is the kind of thing he usually accuses the other side of 'covering over', and I usually think he's right about that. But to read this without knowing, you would not have any idea that the, indeed long stalemate with Silverstein, Liebeskind, et alia, had really been broken. I already mentioned that it's unbelievable that he would have said that 'it still lacks any finished buildings', but that it's also so misleading about the rapid clip at which 1 World Trade (a much more important building than 7 World Trade) is going up, seems even worse. During this decade, it really seemed as though nothing would ever happen there, that they'd just fight forever. But I do seem to be losing faith in the New York Times, at long last--if they can allow this, then anybody can.

Okay, I'll probably get down there to get another look in a few days. Any other New Yorkers visited the site, keeping up with the movements, etc.?

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The lead editorial is very good on this, and has the names of some of the architects, who've changed over the years--Michael Arad's memorial with the two 30-foot pools where the two towers stood; and Fumihiko Maki's skyscraper, which is one of Silverstein's, and Santiago Calatrava's 'elegant PATH station'. There's some description of the memorial, I'm not sure that I picked out that site when I was there, but Bloomberg has promised it for 2011, and it looks likely. Most of the credit for finally getting the site moving is given to Mayor Bloomberg and the Port Authority. The mosque controversy is mentioned, of course, but that's not the point of this post, nor the only emphasis of the editorial.

The article says that the tallest skyscraper is a third of the way up: That would be One World Trade.

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Walking back from the Lower East Side from getting a flu shot at Gouverneur, I realized that I had gotten my perspective all confused. The tall building that went up in the last year and that you see walking down 6th Avenue (and the very top out my south window) is Trump SoHo, a luxury hotel:



It's very impressive, but I had the hardest time keeping it in view once on Canal Street; it's a lot more uptown (between Spring and Dominick Streets), but there are often views in which it seems next to 7 World Trade Center, so this was interesting for a cityscape-lover.

I was sure it wasn't 1 World Trade, but not that I was going to find the skyscraper (it half drove me crazy, I know this seems a little extreme). So I just started at 1 World Trade, which had progressed as much as I said it had, but does look like this by now, and that IS 7 World Trade right next to it (or rather, to the far right, not the old building in the middle, which miraculously escaped the attacks):


The problem with perspective and depth perception was so severe that I first thought this:


might be the 'magical Oz building'. I'd never seen it and it's a luxury rental high-rise between Beekman Street and Spruce Street a few blocks from City Hall and Park Row. It turns out to be a building by Gehry, although I just noticed the influence when seeing it, didn't think it was his. Everybody has been influenced by those asymmetrical foldings and making one floor hang a bit over the other, so the style is found in many places, not just Gehry's work. This was pretty impressive, and at first I thought that this was the 'mystery building', and was frankly surprised when I found the Trump Soho--there aren't very many buildings that tall in that particular area, so things are getting even more opaque, I guess. It is the first building I've been able to see come above the lower-lying ones in the Village and SoHo since the old World Trade Center, so I must not have thought any other was probably, and couldn't tell the distance by looking. But 1 World Trade doesn't have any glass on it, so I should have known that that was faster building progress than is even possible now, and buildings are erected in 20% of the time they used to be if they're not held up by costs (1 World Trade has been, and may not top out till 2013.)

Edited to add: That was the 2008 prediction, the 2013 'topping out', now it's been moved up to late next year, 2011, with occupancy beginning in 2013.

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