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Revised World Trade Center Design Unveiled - 2003-12-19

New York Officials Friday unveiled the new design for the Freedom Tower, planned to be the world's tallest structure on the World Trade Center site.

After months of sharp disagreement, the two architects hired to redevelop the site where the World Trade Center towers once stood have finally reached a compromise.

The plan calls for a 540-meter high, 70-story office building topped by a spire that evokes the symbol of the Statue of Liberty and echoes design elements of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge. New additions include an open area for cable suspension and windmills to provide part of the building's energy.

Chief architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs presented the plan at a new conference just minutes away from the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Childs says the simple and pure tower will reclaim the resilience and spirit of democracy. But he says enormous work lies ahead to begin construction by the end of next year.

"This is our idea for this building," he said. "Much needs to be done, working together with our teams we will now get on with the subtle and most important matters of making this a great piece of architecture."

Officials plan to complete reconstruction of the entire site in 10 years.

New York Governor George Pataki, the most influential player in the rebuilding process, says the tower will fill the void in the New York City skyline.

"[It is] a historic day," he said. "A day that, hopefully decades from now, we will look back on as we see the New York skyline, we will understand the sacrifices of September 11, we will understand the courage of New Yorkers, we will understand the value of freedom."

Construction is already under way at the site. But design disputes have stalled momentum in the rebuilding process. The jury choosing the final design for a memorial to September 11 disaster victims recently postponed its decision.