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There were proposals for its reconstruction almost immediately, and by , the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation had organized a competition to determine how to use the site.
This design underwent many revisions, mainly because of disagreements with developer Larry Silverstein , who held the lease to the World Trade Center site at that time.
Freedom Tower, 2006 - Photos - From Ground Zero to One World Trade Center - NY Daily News
The design originally included plans to clad the base in glass prisms in order to address criticism that the building might have looked uninviting and resembled a "concrete bunker".
However, the prisms were later found to be unworkable, as preliminary testing revealed that the prismatic glass easily shattered into large and dangerous shards. As a result, it was replaced by a simpler facade consisting of stainless steel panels and blast-resistant glass.
Its designers stated that the tower would be a "monolithic glass structure reflecting the sky and topped by a sculpted antenna.
A formal agreement was drafted the following day, the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Empire State Building. Construction began in May; a formal groundbreaking ceremony took place when the first construction team arrived.
However, construction of the base was not finished until two years later, after which construction of the office floors began, and the first glass windows were subsequently installed; during , floors were constructed at a rate of about one per week. Vantone plans to create the China Center, a trade and cultural facility, covering , square feet on floors 64 through This resulted in an uproar from the media and citizens of the surrounding area, who warned that the plans could potentially be used for a future terrorist attack.
The temporary PATH station was not to be removed until its official replacement, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub , was completed, blocking access to the planned loading area. The New York Times noted that the area around the World Trade Center had transitioned from a financial area to one with technology firms, residences, and luxury shops, coincident with the building of the new tower.
At the time, the platform was holding a two-man, SEIU -affiliated window washing team. The slack caused the platform to hang almost vertically near the 68th floor of the tower. The workers were rescued by over FDNY firefighters , who used a diamond saw to cut through the glass.
NOVA | Transcripts | Building on Ground Zero | PBS
After the incident, the workers suffered from a slight case of hypothermia, and were taken to the hospital. It also visually resembles the original Twin Towers, rather than being an off-center spire similar to the Statue of Liberty. LED lights behind the panels illuminate the base at night.
We explored the infrastructural challenges because the proper solution would have to be compelling, not just beautiful. The design does have great sculptural implications, and we fully understand the iconic importance of the tower, but it also has to be a highly efficient building. The office floors begin at floor 20, and go up to floor There is a sky lobby on floor 64; office floors resume on floor 65, and stop at floor Floors 91—99 and — are mechanical floors.