MMS Friends

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Pataki announces Freedom Tower redesign

freedomtower.jpg 70 stories. (Yawn.)

Thank heaven for this:

The soaring skyscraper that is supposed to rise from Ground Zero is going back to the drawing board. Gov. George Pataki said yesterday that he and other officials involved with developing the World Trade Center site have agreed to revamp the design of the Freedom Tower to address security issues raised by the Police Department. It is unclear how radical a redesign will be needed to address the safety issues, but sources familiar with the discussions said the building will still stand at 1,776 feet, in homage to the year the United States declared its independence.
I never liked the Freedom Tower because so much of its height is just useless decoration. The plans call for only 70 floors of habitable space. Everything above that is open latticework containing wind turbines and an antenna spire. Plus, the tower is only one-third occupied, and that's by a single government tenant -- the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the land underneath the former World Trade Center. The developer, Larry Silverstein, hasn't been able to line up any other tenants, highlighting the dubious financial feasibility of the whole project. Besides, a major selling point of the project is that the 1,776-foot building would be the tallest in the world -- a monument to American resilience and ingeniuity. If built, that monument will pale in comparison to the proposed 160-story Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE just happens to be the last known address of Satam al-Suqami, one of the 9/11 hijackers.


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