First Steel Columns Laid at Freedom Tower Site

World Trade Center Tower 1 or Freedom Tower is the centerpiece building of the new World Trade Center complex currently planned for Lower Manhattan. The tower will be located in the northwest corner of the 16-acre (65,000 m²) World Trade Center site, bounded by Vesey Street, West Street, Washington Street and Fulton Street 40.713° N 74.0135° W. Construction on below-grade utility relocations, footings, and foundations for Freedom Tower began on April 27, 2006. As of December 19, 2006, the first steel columns are being installed at the building’s foundation. Three other high rises are planned for the site along Greenwich Street, plus a residential tower that will surround the World Trade Center Memorial that is currently also under construction, and a museum.

A revised design for the tower was formally unveiled on June 28, 2005, to satisfy security issues raised by the New York City Police Department in April of that year. On April 26, 2006, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a conceptual framework that enabled foundation construction to begin on the following day while a formal agreement is drafted. It is expected that the formal agreement will be finalized by September 2006.

On June 28, 2006 the final design for Freedom Tower was unveiled. This included plans to clad its concrete 187-foot base in glass prisms (addressing criticisms that the base looked like a “concrete bunker”), and to taper the corners of the base outward as they rise. Its designers stated that the tower will be a “monolithic glass structure reflecting the sky and topped by a sculpted antenna.” In terms of a completion date, developer Larry Silverstein who held the lease to the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001, stated “By 2012 we should have a completely rebuilt World Trade Center more magnificent, more spectacular than it ever was.”

The height to the top of the spire is set to be 1,776 feet (541 m), a tribute to the year 1776, when the United States Declaration of Independence was drafted, when the States formally set out on the road to independence from Great Britain. The Freedom Tower is intended to be taller than Chicago’s Sears Tower and become the tallest building in the United States, and among the tallest buildings in the world when completed. Depending on the angle from which the building is viewed, Freedom Tower is designed to appear as either a cuboid shape like both of the previous towers, or as a massive obelisk design. The walls at the base are offset 45 degrees from the walls of the highest floor with interlocking triangle façades.

Construction began on April 27, 2006, the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Empire State Building, with a formal ceremony that took place when the construction team arrived. It is projected that steel for the building will be visible above grade in 2008, with a topping out in 2010. The building is projected to be ready for occupancy in 2011.

Freedom Tower Rises From the Ashes of 9/11
Work has begun on the Freedom Tower which is to be the centerpiece of the former World Trade Center site in New York. Three steel beams, one bearing the signatures of 9/11 victims’ families, were put into place in a groundbreaking ceremony.

Freedom Tower foundations laid
The first steel column for the replacement for the twin towers, Freedom Tower, has been laid in New York.

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