Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the tower in Miami, see Freedom Tower (Miami)
The Freedom Tower is the name given to the planned centerpiece building of the new World Trade Center in New York City, whose predecessor was destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001. When completed by 2008 or 2009, by some measurements the Freedom Tower might become the tallest building in the world, with its spire rising to a symbolic height of 1776 feet (541 m) (1776 is significant as the year of the United States Declaration of Independence). The tower will have 70 stories and 2.6 million ft² (240,000 m²) of office space including its 276 foot (84 m) spire meant to echo the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
On July 4, 2004, a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony took place, with the laying of a 20 ton granite cornerstone. The cornerstone was quarried from the Adirondack Mountains, and is inscribed with the text "To honor and remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and as a tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom — July Fourth 2004". New York Governor George Pataki, New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were in attendance, as were the friends and families of many of the victims. Although the ceremony marks the formal beginning of construction, regulatory approvals for the construction and the detailed design are not yet complete.
The Freedom Tower will make history by being the first skyscraper to integrate large-scale wind turbines, which will generate up to 20% of the building's electrical power needs. Wind turbines are generally not suited for urban environments because of turbulence created by other nearby buildings, but the altitude of the wind turbines is expected to overcome that difficulty.
Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the Trade Center, will most likely be the owner of the Freedom Tower when completed. However, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the 16 acre (65,000 m²) site. The Port Authority estimates the Freedom Tower to cost USD 1.5 to 2 billion alone or about $200/ft² (~$2000/m²). The Port Authority plans to occupy at least one-third of the office space but no private-sector tenants have yet been found.
The master planner and architect of the Freedom Tower is architect Daniel Libeskind, although David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, an architect for Silverstein is also working with him to maximize office space. Libeskind has in fact never designed a skyscraper before. Silverstein and Childs hope the Freedom Tower and the complex of new buildings around it will fully replace the 10 million ft² (~1 million m²) of office space lost.
Like the World Trade Center, there will be a public lobby, and two concourse levels which will house retail stores and provide pedestrian access to mass transit. Capped on the very top of the 60 floors will be an indoor observation deck, a restaurant, and an event space. The Freedom Tower Spire's upper levels in some plan conceptions contain a massive vertical garden memorial known as Gardens of the World.
On top of the spire, the antenna may, pending design finalization, raise the height of the Tower to over 2000 feet (610 m). This will be the new broadcasting system to various New York TV channels and Radio stations, replacing the antenna on top of the North Tower of the former World Trade Center complex. However, other renderings assume the antenna will be entirely within the spire, and as of January 2005 it was still unclear if it was possible to construct the spire as designed .
The Freedom Tower design has generated some controversy due to the limited number of floors (a maximum of 70) that is slated to house office space and other amenities. The floor limit was imposed by Silverstein, who expressed concern that higher floors would be a liability in a major accident or terrorist attack. Other architects, however, have contended that a taller building should have been considered, suggesting that for reasons of cost and engineering, taller buildings may actually be safer (Attia 2000|(1)). There have also been accusations of corruption and nepotism on the part of Governor George Pataki, using his influence to get the winning architect's bid picked as a personal favor for a close friend. ((2).
The World Trade Center's North Tower featured an occupied floor at 1,355 feet (413 m). The Freedom Tower's top floor will be much lower, at about 1,100 feet (335 m) where there will be an observation deck. Above will be only ornamental latticework containing windmills, another observation deck at 1500 feet (457 m), and a 276 foot spire at the top, bringing the building's total height to 1,776 feet (541 m). By contrast, the Sears Tower, Taipei 101, and other buildings have top floors higher than the Freedom Tower. Union Square Phase 7 and the Shanghai World Financial Center will have roofs and floors higher than Freedom Tower's latticework. Only by the standard measurements of the spire and probably antenna height criteria of the organizations such as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) will the Freedom Tower possibly be the tallest building in the world. Indeed, the Burj Dubai tower, even if its height is a guarded secret, will probably surpass all existing buildings in height when it is finished in 2008.
Although completion has already been pushed back from 2008 to 2009, rumor has it that even this might be a bit optimistic, as progress on parts of the site and the infrastructure around the tower has been plagued by funding problems and delays.
- Eli Attia, "Which future for Ground Zero" in The Fresno Bee, May 24, 2002. Accessed online at , retrieved July 5th, 2004.
- Freedom Tower Silver Dollar
- 50 Tallest buildings in the U.S.
- List of Skyscrapers
- Memory Foundations
- World's tallest structures
- World Trade Center
- World Trade Center Memorial
- World Trade Center site
- Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Website
- Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Website
- The Metropolis Magazine: Rebuilding The World Trade Center
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