News / USA

    First World Trade Center Tower Opens 12 Years After 9/11

    4 World Trade Center, center, towers over construction cranes at the trade center site, Nov. 13, 2013, in New York City
    4 World Trade Center, center, towers over construction cranes at the trade center site, Nov. 13, 2013, in New York City
    Reuters
    The first office tower at Ground Zero since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center opened on Wednesday, marking a comeback for the Lower Manhattan site.

    Sheathed in glass, 4 World Trade Center is the smallest of the four main towers on the site where 2,700 people died when hijacked airplanes crashed into the towers. It stands 977 feet (298 meters) tall, a shorter, simpler version of One World Trade Center, which will not be completed until early 2014.

    “This isn't just a building. It's a symbol of our rebirth. It speaks to our promise to never forget,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by officials, friends, construction workers on the site and tourists snapping pictures.

    Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki said he designed the building to have a “strong sculptural effect but with a quiet presence,” and an “ambiance of calm and dignity.”

    Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.
    x
    Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.
    Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.
    The 72-story building stands empty at the moment, although two government agencies have signed leases for half of the building's space. Both the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site, and the city of New York committed to the space years ago to help jumpstart rebuilding efforts.

    Since the attacks, disagreements among New York City, the state, the federal government, developers, insurers, victims' families and others have slowed construction on the 16-acre site. Developer Larry Silverstein, who held the lease to the site when it was attacked in 2001, has played a key role in shaping the project's design, security and cost.

    “The world is recognizing that we've moved from 12 years of controversy and construction to having a real place that is coming back to life as a part of New York City,” Janno Lieber, who oversees planning, design and rebuilding for Silverstein Properties, told Reuters.

    Silverstein spokesman Dara McQuillan said the developer was not troubled that the 2.3 million-square-foot building is only half leased.

    In 2006, Silverstein opened 7 World Trade Center, just north of Ground Zero and the company was the only tenant in the building. But by 2011, it was fully leased with such tenants as Moody's Corp and Mansueto Ventures, which publishes Fast Company and Inc magazines.

    “We learned at 7 World Trade Center that when you build state-of-the-art, green, high-tech office buildings, they lease quickly,” said McQuillan.

    Commercial real estate in downtown Manhattan rents for about $47 per square foot, about 35 percent less than rents in midtown Manhattan, according to commercial real estate services firm CBRE Group.

    The skyscraper cost about $2 billion to build, including land-lease costs, and it was financed with $1.2 billion of tax-free Liberty Bonds and insurance proceeds.

    On Monday, a council of urban designers decided that One World Trade Center, which is being built by Douglas Durst and the Port Authority, would be designated the tallest building in the United States.

    They voted to count its spire in the total height of the building, which will reach 1,776 feet, a number chosen for the year the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed. The spire on the original twin towers reached 1,727 feet and the Empire State Building's antenna spire reaches 1,454 feet.

    A 9/11 museum is expected to open at the site in the next year. A transportation hub, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is scheduled to open in 2015.

    The site will include two more office towers and some 550,000 square feet of retail space. Architect Frank Gehry, most famous for designing the contemporary Guggenheim Museum in Spain, has planned a performing arts center for the building.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora