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One World Trade Center
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrOne World Trade Center is a building in Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is the main building of the new World Trade Center complex and is the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the fourth-tallest in the world. The skyscraper is 104 standard floors high, but in reality has only 94 actual stories. One World Trade Center, including its spire, is precisely 541 meter high, symbolizing the year 1776, which is when the United States became independent from Great Britain. It is bordered by West Street in the west, Vesey Street in the north, Washington Street in the east, and Fulton Street in the south.
It is a major landmark in the city, dominating the skyline from every point of view. The World Trade Center complex has six other skyscrapers and office buildings, known as ‘Two’, ‘Three’, ‘Four’, ‘Five’, ‘Six’, and ‘Seven’ World Trade Center, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which is located at the site where the World Trade Center used to stand.
One World Trade Center is also known as ‘1 World Trade Center’, ‘1 WTC’ or, unofficially, as the ‘Freedom Tower’. It comprises 3 million square feet and features office space, restaurants, retail space, and an observation deck that offers extraordinary views of New York City.
After the horrific 9/11 events, the new World Trade Center is safer than ever. The safety system within the building greatly exceeds the requirements of the New York City building code. Safety features include wide pressurized stairways, several backups for emergency lights, concrete protection for water sprinklers, biochemical filters, dense fireproofing, and so on. It has created new safety standards for modern skyscrapers.
In addition, the building’s design also focuses on sustainability. Renewable energy is being used, rainwater is being reused, and materials consist of recycled construction debris. The use of natural daylight is a major focus as well.
HistoryThe first World Trade Center complex was built in the 1960s and 1970s, the most famous of which were the Twin Towers, or ‘One’ and ‘Two World Trade Center’. The main force behind this massive urban project was David Rockefeller , son of John D. Rockefeller who had previously built the Rockefeller Center. The complex was officially opened on April 4, 1973, creating a new international business center in Lower Manhattan. Having surpassed the Empire State Building in height in 1972, One World Trade Center was the world’s tallest building for a couple of years, before the Chicago Sears Tower was finished in 1974.
The World Trade Center was completely destroyed by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. 2,996 people were killed, almost all of them civilians.
After the attacks, there was no question about what had to happen with the site. Plans and ideas for reconstruction were worked out almost immediately after. The first building to be reconstructed was Seven World Trade Center. It was the very first ‘green’ building ever built in New York City. Construction of the new One World Trade Center began in 2006. A feature of this tower is that it has marks at 1,362 and 417 meter, the respective heights of the Twin Towers. The new complex was designed by architect, Daniel Libeskind. His design features a descending spiral of towers, starting in the northwest corner with the super-tall One World Trade Center and ending at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
ArchitectureLibeskind’s first design of the new One World Trade Center was aimed to echo the Statue of Liberty. It went through several revisions and the final design consists of more traditional features and simple symmetry. It was decided to keep the look of the building simple so that it would blend in with the skyline of Manhattan. The spire is based on the ones at the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. The shape commemorates the original Twin Towers.
Visiting One World Trade CenterPeople can visit the National 9/11 Memorial for free. The area is essentially made up of two gigantic holes, the former sites of the Twin Towers, filled with water and fountains. It is a simple and sober place, just like a memorial should be. The 9/11 Memorial Museum lies nearby and has exhibitions on the events on September 11, including testimonials from survivors and from family members of the people who died. It is a humbling place and a visit is strongly recommended. Tickets cost $ 24 USD for adults, $ 18 USD for seniors, veterans, and students, and $ 17 USD for children between 7 and 17 years old.
Similar LandmarksOther landmark buildings in New York City are the Empire State Building, One57, 8 Spruce Street, Rockefeller Center, and the Chrysler Building.
Major skyscrapers elsewhere in the world are the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Shanghai Tower, Taipei 101, and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Feb 28, 2015