As could have been expected, all plans and ideas for a new construction on the area where World Trade Center stood until September 11, 2001 were accompanied by many discussions and problems. Economic interests and the feelings of the bereaved had to be paid attention to, just as the political and historical significance of the area at Manhattan’s southernmost tip had to be taken into consideration.
After small smoldering fires had been burning in the remnants of WTC even five months after the attacks, the perimeter had been completely freed from debris in May 2002. The pieces had been transported to Staten Island and had been sifted through there on the search for small particles of human remains. Regardless, some fragments were still found in the excavation pit when building was under way years later. For every single one of these, it was attempted to allocate them to victims by means of DNA analysis.
Even shortly after 9/11 it became clear that something new would be built on the spot. In a long-lasting process accompanied by a lot of public attention it was finally determined in 2006 that the Freedom Tower should be built according to the plans of architect Daniel Libeskind - by now, the project has officially been renamed One World Trade Center. Apart from that, the general concept also contains a memorial and a museum. Under the official name National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the motto Reflecting Absence (created by architect Libeskind), a museum documents the attacks here since September 2012. The memorial contains water pools designed in the footprints of the two towers with waterfalls and commemorative plaques listing the names of all victims. Construction of the memorial had begun in March 2006, the opening ceremony was held on 1. September 11, 2011. The steep costs associated with building the memorial and museum have led to a lot of criticism and some adjustments of the original plans.
LIke before, the new World Trade Center will also comprise several buildings, one of which, the 228 metres tall 7 World Trade Center, has already opened in May 2006. The tallest and most significant building of the project however is the tower of One World Trade Center. Opened in January 2014, One World Trade Center has 104 floors and is the tallest building of the US and even of the Western hemisphere. Including the spire, it stands 541 metres tall. This equals 1776 feet - a height chosen intentionally as a reference to the year when the American Declaration of Independence was signed. The building has been constructed by architect David Childs and contains a total of more than 240,000 square metres of office space,restaurants, parking garages and an observation platform. It was originally planned to make the new World Trade Center the highest building of the world, but newer projects in Asia surpassed that plan. Among the tenants already signed up are the State of New York, a Chinese trading company and a publishing house. The tower has been New York City’s tallest building since May 2012.
Construction of the skyscraper has always been accompanied by safety considerations. The new building sets a pattern in this regard, too - for example with extra-broad escape staircases or with air filters equipped to protect against biological and chemical warfare agents.