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World Trade Center dominates skyline 11 years after 9/11

Construction cranes perch on top of One World Trade Center, left, and Four World Trade Center in New York.

NEW YORK: Eleven years after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, the new multibillion-dollar World Trade Center once again dominates the lower Manhattan skyline.

Hundreds of construction workers are at the 6.5-hectare site every day, and tourists snap thousands of photos of the two towers that are nearing completion.

Here is a look at the status of the trade center’s major components, according to developers:

r Most of the 3.2-hectare memorial quadrangle at the World Trade Center opened last year on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Since then, some 4.5 million people have visited the memorial, with its twin reflecting pools where the towers stood. But a museum being built in a cavern beneath the plaza is still incomplete.

Work all but stopped last fall because of a funding dispute between the memorial foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Joseph Daniels, president of the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, said once construction resumes, it will take more than a year to finish the job, meaning the museum might not open until 2014.

r One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will open in 2014 on the northwest corner of the trade center site with 280,000 square meters of office space. Tenants so far include magazine publisher Conde Nast and the federal government’s General Services Administration.

The spire atop the 104-story building will reach the symbolic height of 541.3 meters. There will be observation decks on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors. The building without the spire has reached its full height of 417 meters. It is expected to cost $3.9 billion by the time it is finished.

r The first office building to open will be the 72-story 4 World Trade Center at the southeast corner of the site. It has reached its full height of 298 meters and is scheduled to open in October 2013. Tenants will include the Port Authority, the bi-state agency that owns the trade center site and lost its headquarters when the towers were attacked.

r Just north of 4 World Trade Center is 3 World Trade Center, which is now an eight-story stub but will reach 80 stories and 350.5 meters when it’s complete. Developer Larry Silverstein is required to lease at least 37,160 square meters of space before finishing the building – planned for 2015 or 2016.

r At the northeast corner of the site, 2 World Trade Center is up only to street level. The building is planned as an 88-story skyscraper but will not be built until the commercial real estate market picks up enough to fill it.

r The new transportation hub at the trade center will connect 13 subway lines and PATH trains to New Jersey when it opens in 2015 – replacing the temporary station built after the attacks. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the station will serve 250,000 travelers a day. There will be two levels of retail space. None of the tenants has been announced yet. The cost of the transportation hub, originally pegged at $2.2 billion, is now expected to exceed $3.5 billion.

A performing arts center planned for the site has been in limbo for years. A board of directors was named this year and was given the task of raising funds to build the center, which is to include a 1,000-seat theater.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 11, 2012, on page 11.

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