Soon after the destruction of the original World Trade Center building, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation initiated proposals for the reconstruction of a new building, integrating in the design a park and museum to memorialize the victims of the September 11 attacks.
When the public rejected the first round of designs, a second, more open competition took place in December 2002, in which a design by Daniel Libeskind was selected as the winner. This plan went through many revisions, mainly because of disagreements with developer Larry Silverstein, who held the lease to the World Trade Center site.
It is interesting to note that Donald Trump had stated early on that both of the original 110 story towers should have been rebuilt with an additional one more story higher, as a sign of resilience and defiance and it appeared that many people had agreed with him at the time. However, Trump’s appeal was disregarded and construction of the new Freedom Tower began on April 27, 2006, but not after continuous delays and ongoing bureaucracy, including disputes between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and developer Tishman Realty & Construction.
The Tishman construction firm was famous for its participation in building some of the tallest buildings in the country, including the original World Trade Center complex and the John Hancock Center in Chicago. John Tishman died on February 6 2016. leaving the business to his son.
Construction began on April 27, 2006 and on November 18, 2006, 400 cubic yards of concrete was poured onto the building’s foundation. On December 17, 2006, a ceremony was held in Battery Park City, with the public invited to sign a 30-foot steel beam, which was welded onto the building’s base on December 19, 2006.
Using the walls and beams high above street level, hard hats paid moving tributes to those lost. One such line read ‘God Bless the workers & inhabitants of this bldg.’. These testaments represents the resilience of a city and country that continues to show defiance against senseless attacks on its citizens.
This shining tower is a splendid addition to the New York skyline and is also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Visible for 20 miles or more, The Freedom Tower is a magnificent structure that took a decade to design and build, culminating from the work of thousands of patriotic workers who’s passion was to pay tribute to those lost in the 2001 attacks.
One of the two designers behind this structure is Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind. His most famous designs include The Felix Nussbaum Haus museum in Osnabrück, Germany, Złota 44 Skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland, and The Imperial Museum North in England. His revolutionary styles are a mix of modern, contemporary, and deconstructivism. The second designer is American architect David Childs, responsible for many famous buildings in New York including One Worldwide Plaza, Times Square Tower, and 383 Madison Avenue to name a few. Childs specializes in postmodern and modern style of architecture.
The construction of the western hemisphere’s largest building was built from post industrial recycled materials and three quarters of the waste created during construction was recycled. In order to save on electricity, most of the buildings windows are glass, designed to let in as much light as possible. Not only is this design aesthetically pleasing, but quite innovative. The building’s water system also contains rainwater collecting tanks that not only help cool but reduce water consumption by 30%, in an effort to be one of the most water efficient buildings on the East coast.
Freedom Tower’s strong solid structure owes to its concrete core and incredibly thick concrete walls. This ensures the building is blast resistant and can withstand everything from earthquakes to strong category winds. There are also state of the art fire retardant systems through the entire building, including the staircases and elevators, ensuring the safety of everyone in the building.
In late 2012, dedicated hard hats installed a temporary steel framework at the top of the tower to support the 408 foot steel spire that was to sit above the building. The spire was created in 16 separate sections, where workers painstakingly fastened each section together one by one. The segments were built in Montreal Canada and were transported by barge through to New York’s Hudson River, along side where the tower rests, just yards away on Manhattan’s west side.
In April, 2012, the 104 story Freedom Tower became the tallest structure in New York City, surpassing the 102 story Empire State Building. The tower was topped out on August 30, 2012 and on May 10, 2013, the final component of the skyscraper’s spire was installed, making the building, including its spire reach a total height of 1,776 feet. When completed, the tower reached 1,776 feet to represent the signing or our Declaration of Independence in 1776.
As for its occupants, the 3 million square feet of office space is filling up fast. Even before construction, Anna Wintour of Vogue Magazine, part of the company Conde Nast, were the first company to rent space in the Tower, with a record of 1 million square feet of space.
This dazzling monument’s design has gained much praise with New York City residents. It represents the power and courage of the people of New York. A beacon of light, the undaunted Freedom Tower stands watchfully over the city that has faced and overcome its dark past, staring confidently into the future.
See the time-lapse video below.
The building has an elaborate security facility integrated within it. In addition to 24×7 human monitoring, there is a sophisticated security system that includes video analysis, in which computers would alert security personnel to abnormal situations automatically.
In addition, other security apparatuses have been installed in and around the area, but their actual function has not been made public. What is known is that there are radiation detectors abound in New York City and the NYPD Hercules Team is ready at a moment’s notice.