May 2008: Freedom Tower Grows, Blasting Continues at WTC Site

The Freedom Tower, originally designed by Daniel Libeskind and architected by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is continuing to be built at its base in the northwest area of the former site of the World Trade Center towers. From my vantage point in an office building on the east side of “the bathtub“, no significant breakthrough has occurred in terms of the Tower beginning its ascent above ground level.

Ground Zero - 1/28/2007
Ground Zero – 1/28/2007
Ground Zero – 5/15/2008

Bounded by West Street, Vesey Street and the dotted-line equivalents of Washington Place and Fulton Street, the Freedom Tower has been a hive of construction for a couple of years now. Apparently, the new building needs prolonged and careful construction below ground.

Let’s hope it isn’t because they lost the plans.

NY Post
© NY Post, by Brigitte Stelzer

The New York Post revealed last month that not all of the Freedom Tower’s plans have remained as confidential as they may have liked when a homeless man found two sets of ground plans for the Tower in a garbage can at the corner of West Houston and Sullivan streets in Soho.

Blasting Continues in 10007

Every weekday in the World Trade Center area, an hourly blast shakes buildings and causes everyone in our office to look toward the window.
Blasting in the BathtubNot that we get up anymore, but the blasts are disconcerting enough to give momentary pause to any project or phone conversation.

For now, any detonation of explosives appears to be focused in the southeast bathtub area nearest to the Century 21 and Brooks Brothers Buildings on Church St. Several pits are in the process of being excavated as construction workers continue to burrow farther into the granite than the depths seen previously for the former World Trade Center buildings.

The Big Black Building

The former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street is about to enter a new phase of deconstruction according to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Back in August, a powerful fire took the lives of two firefighters. After months of analysis and completion of a new abatement plan, the building is apparently ready to come down floor by floor. A press release at the end of April from the LMDC stated:

“As a result of the work completed by LVI to date, the New York City Department of Buildings today lifted a stop work order that has been in place since the August 18 fire that will allow the final stages of cleaning and abatement to proceed with a full complement of over 300 trained asbestos workers working two shifts per day, six days a week”

It’s hard to believe that 9/11 took place nearly 7 years ago when you look at the gutted Deutsche Bank building. The “black shroud” of a building provides tourists something to ogle when visiting the WTC circus. Area residents are no doubt conflicted between concerns regarding asbestos during the deconstruction phase and “moving on.”

Deutsche Banc Building - Day Before Fire
August 17, 2007 – Day Before the Fire
Beneath The Deutsche Banc Building
August 23, 2007 – 6 days later

The latest WTC-area updates for May, 2008, can be found on the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center website including information on the new, temporary PATH entrance which opened on Vesey Street at West Broadway on April 1.

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May 24th, 2008

Entry Filed under: East Village, New York City


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