Workers began installing the steel and glass panels this week.
By Julie Shapiro DNAinfo Reporter/Producer, November 15, 2010
LOWER MANHATTAN — The first stainless steel and sparkling glass panels for the facade on One World Trade Center began to rise this week and are already attracting attention from blocks away.
“It looks good,” said Angela Medina, 20, a student who was visiting the site from New Jersey on Monday. “It’s going to look different from all the other buildings around. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it when it’s done.”
The tower won’t open until 2013, but workers installed the first pieces of the stainless steel exterior on three corners of the 20th floor on Sunday. They then began adding glass on Monday, said Steve Coleman, spokesman for the Port Authority.
In all, the 1,776-foot skyscraper, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will feature 12,000 glass panels, each of which is 5 feet wide and more than 13 feet tall.
The facade panels will form eight tall triangles of glass and steel, which grow alternately wider and narrower as they approach the top of the building. David M. Childs designed the tower’s glimmering exterior to refract light and change its appearance depending on the weather and the viewer’s position.
The first 20 floors of the building, which include the lobby and mechanical space, will have a more porous facade made of prismatic glass and an aluminum screen.
Construction workers at the World Trade Center site were said they were impressed by the first glimpse of the building’s future skin this week.
“Officially, I’m not allowed to have a comment,” said one worker who is helping build One World Trade Center. “Unofficially, I think it looks sweet.”
“You can start to see the scope of the building,” another worker added. “You can see what it’s going to be.”
Structural steel for the $3.2 billion tower has risen to the 48th floor and will continue going up at the rate of one floor per week, Coleman said. Soon, the facade will be following behind at the same rate, he said.
When the building is complete, it will stand tallest in the city.
Steven Carter, 58, a pedestrian manager who has been posted on Vesey Street near the site for the past two months, said Monday that the visible progress was encouraging.
“The way it’s going, it’s gonna look beautiful,” said Carter, a Queens resident. “It’s gonna look fabulous.”
By Julie Shapiro, DNAinfo.com
“It’s going to look fabulous” compared to what? Compared to what it looks like now — of course. But compared to the new Twin Towers that most of us hoped for it’s a disgrace. And it only exists because the media has stifled the reality that what most of us have always really wanted could have at any time taken the place of the losing proposition they are building with our money. And still could if the media wanted to start telling the whole story. The 9/18 New York Times expose was a good start. Its forecast makes it doubtful that 2 and 3 will ever be built, but even if all four towers were built, all it would be is the best Cubic Zirconium money can buy — our money — bridge and tunnel money that could be much better spent. Even though the press is not reporting it, there is a fight going on to cap the Freedom Tower, use it as the bunker that it is, scrap the plans for 2, 3, and 4, and put the real Tower One and Tower Two in place beside the 9/11 Memorial – giving us a much more appropriate, affordable, and profitable venture — ahead of the current schedule. Everything about the current project from its materials, its technological and environmental advances, and the pride those who are working on it feel, are not specific to the proposed towers but to rebuilding the site. Only imagine how much more joy and pride there would be if we were finally on track, putting all those advances into building what belonged there from the start. Those who call themselves “reporters” but have buried the news of a noble effort will figure it out too late to retain any credibility.
NYC Magee | November 16, 2010