I wanted to see the progress being made at Ground Zero, the name now associated with the 16 acres of the former World Trade Center complex which was destroyed by a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Progress on rebuilding has been slow due to many controversies through the years, from building designs, insurance disputes, types and placement of the memorials and museum, and safety issues. To many families and friends of the victims killed in the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers this land is viewed as a sacred graveyard, as the remains of many of those killed were never found. There is a great emotional component that had to be considered before any decision was made towards redevelopment.
(all photos in this post can be enlarged by clicking on them)
This view and the one above it were taken from Church Street. You can see the construction fence which surrounds the entire site and which also shows murals of the plans for future construction. As you can see by the giant construction cranes at work, building of Towers Three and Four are in progress. The red beamed building in the rear is the construction of Tower One -- The Freedom Tower. The largest building on the right is the first building completed, this is the replacement for the former World Trade Center Tower 7.
Walking down Church Street I passed Saint Paul's Chapel, also know as "The Little Chapel That Stood," as it survived the collapse of the Twin Towers, even though it is located across the street from the complex.
As you can read on this sign on the chapel's fence St. Paul's is famous for many reasons. You can read more about St. Paul's in this post I wrote in 2008, which also shows many of the toiching memorials that were inside the church at that time.
This is the new World Trade Center 7. It is 52 stories tall and built on a smaller footprint than the original building. The new building is bounded by Greenwich, Vesey, Washington, and Barclay streets. It was completed in 2006. My husband worked for a company that was located in the original World Trade Center 7, and although no one from that building was killed that fateful day they saw much of the destruction and carnage.
At this point I walked toward The World Financial Center located on West Street between Liberty and Vesey Streets and entered The Winter Garden.
The Winter Garden is a 10-story glass-vaulted pavilion in the World Financial Center. It houses various trees and flowers, restaurants and shops. The rear of the building opens onto the World Financial Center Plaza and the North Cove Yacht Harbor on the Hudson River.
The panoramic windows of The Winter Garden that face West Street has the best views of Ground Zero, as it is elevated above the construction fence.
The photos above and below are the views of Ground Zero's construction as seen from The Winter Garden windows.
The photos below show various views of the World Trade Center Tower One, also known as The Freedom Tower. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the building went through many revisions, largely because of disagreements with developer Larry Silverstein, who held the lease to the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001. The New York City Police department also voiced security issues regarding the original building plans and they had to be revised again to add a 187 foot concrete base.
If you click to enlarge the photo mosaic above and look at the bottom middle photo you can see across Ground Zero to see St. Paul's Chapel. The photo in the bottom lower right was taken from North End Ave and Vesey Street looking at the elevated walkway that allows pedestrians to walk over West Street and past the Freedom Tower construction site towards Church Street.
This photo mosaic shows the murals on the Ground Zero construction fence of The Freedom Tower, one of the reflection pool Memorials which will be built in the footprints of each prior Twin Tower building, and the new Train Transportation Hub.
You can enlarge this map that was on an information booth that shows the location of the World Trade center complex in lower Manhattan and also the way the site looked before September 11 and what it will look like when completed. More information about the future World Trade Center can be found on the official web site.
Another portion of the information booth showed the future views of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The Memorials will consist of two massive pools set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers with 30-foot waterfalls cascading down the sides. The names of the 2,980 innocent victims killed in the attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon outside Washington D.C and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, will be inscribed around the edges of the waterfalls.
The Memorial Museum will display artifacts associated with the events of September 11. In my prior blog post I showed The World Trade Center Cross, which was a 20 foot cross shaped beam that came from the fallen towers and which became a symbol of hope and healing at the Ground Zero construction site for many years. It is now in a local church yard until it can be placed in the future museum.
Different projections have been made of when the new World Trade Center will be completed, ranging anywhere from 2013 to 2018. I'll be revisiting the construction site from time to time to record the progress.
Every time I look at the New York City skyline I still find it hard to believe that the Twin Towers are no longer there and I look forward to the day when the new complex is completed, and that the site will, in the words of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, "..bear witness to the attacks, commemorate those who risked their lives to save others, and recognize the thousands who survived and reflect upon the unity and compassion shown in the aftermath."
I'm adding this post to Mary of The Little Red House blog's "Mosaic Monday" event. Please visit Mary's blog and see her photo mosaic and links to all the other blogs who are participating in her event. Thanks Mary!