Freedom Tower takes shape

Silverstein Properties and Tishman Construction have already begun construction of the Freedom Tower to be built in the footprint of the World Trade Center.
The Freedom Tower will stand a symbolic 1,776 feet high and will include 2.6 million square feet of office space, plus observation decks, restaurants, and broadcast and antennae facilities, according to Silverstein Properties. There will also be below-grade shopping and access to the New Jersey PATH and New York City subway trains, as well as access to the World Financial Center.
David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed the tower, which will be located on the northwest corner of the World Trade Center site. It will house an 80-foot-high public lobby topped by a series of mechanical floors. This area will form the 180-foot-high building base with office floors rising above the base to an elevation of 1,120 feet. The tower is topped by an observation deck and glass parapet, at 1,362 and 1,368 feet respectively.
“The Freedom Tower will serve as a soaring beacon on the New York skyline and will reaffirm this city’s resilience and resolve,” said Larry A. Silverstein, the World Trade Center developerin a statement. The Freedom Tower is being developed under an agreement with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which will take ownership of the tower when it is completed in 2011.

“The start of construction serves as a symbol of hope and a show of true progress,” said Silverstein.

As construction progresses, materials for the site are being shipped in from around the world. Approximately 805 tons of steel are being produced in Luxembourg to create the first 27 “extra-large” steel columns of the Freedom Tower, according to Silverstein Properties. The steel will become part of the below-grade structure and is expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

“As we approach the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Lower Manhattan’s resurgence is being forged in concrete and steel,” said Gov. George Pataki in a written statement. “The production of over 800 tons of steel for the first columns is yet another milestone in the construction of the 1,776 foot tall Freedom Tower which will be a beacon of hope and a symbol of our unconquerable spirit.”