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NYguy Dec 8, 2014 4:03 PM


Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy (Post 6835228)
Nice addition to the NY skyline, but I would have rather they rebuilt Yamasaki's twins.

^ People keep saying that, but there was no way they were rebuilding those Twins. Those towers were designed for a different time. Trying to put that much office space into one office tower for Manhattan these days would create a much different and taller design. Even if you designed the same buildings (110 floors), the height would be much greater, meaning they wouldn't be the same, so what's the point in that?

The Freedom Tower Was Supposed To Be the Greenest Building in America. So What Went Wrong?
Under pressure to get a publishing giant into the iconic tower, the site's developers may have sacrificed a core part of its green plans.

By James West
Mon Dec. 8, 2014


A 26-page trove of internal documents obtained by Climate Desk from the Port Authority reveals for the first time a substantial hit to the project's green ambitions: Superstorm Sandy caused critical damage to the World Trade Center's $10.6 million clean-power sources—those world-class fuel cells—a third of which went unrepaired and unreplaced, in part because of a costly flaw in the main tower's design, and pressure to honor a billion-dollar deal with Condé Nast, the global publishing powerhouse and high-profile anchor tenant.

What happened in the basement of One World Trade Center after Sandy is a previously untold—and as yet unresolved—chapter in the site's redevelopment, already dogged by false starts, political squabbling, and cost overruns, involving some of the biggest names in New York City's world of corporate real estate.

In 2007, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a state agency created in the aftermath of 9/11 to coordinate rebuilding efforts, introduced aggressive green standards for the Freedom Tower and its surrounding complex—"unprecedented in their scope and depth," according to the building's architects. The World Trade Center towers would be required to attain LEED gold certification, achieve net zero CO2 emissions (by purchasing green-energy credits), and operate with at least 20 percent more energy efficiency than the state's current building code. "Every day is Earth Day at the World Trade Center," claimed the Port Authority.

Another key requirement in the agreement was a fleet of fuel cells, which work by converting natural gas into electricity using an energy-efficient electrochemical process, rather than by burning it. They're also cleaner because they don't emit greenhouse gases or soot on location; the heat and water they generate as a byproduct can be used for cooling and heating the tower.

And so, in 2008, the Port Authority helped orchestrate a $10.6 million dollar deal with Connecticut's UTC Power to provide nine fuel cells to supply power to three main towers at the site, including One World Trade. In Tower One, the fuel cells would provide up to 10 percent of the building's electricity source, according to the fuel cell manufacturer; in towers Three and Four, they would supply a combined 30 percent.

Then, three years later, Sandy hit. Some 200 million gallons of water cascaded into the lower levels of the site, flooding the National September 11 Memorial Museum with at least five feet of water, according to the New York Times. What no media outlets reported, though, was that the flood also destroyed all nine fuel cells.

And while towers Three and Four now have new fuel cells, the main tower's have never been replaced. The building opened without them—despite the fact that they were required in the original agreement.

So why didn't the Port Authority replace the fuel cells? Evidence suggests that the reason had to do with financial pressure.

In May 2011, the publishing giant Condé Nast signed a $2 billion deal to become the tower's anchor tenant. Built into the terms of the lease was a move-in deadline: The Port Authority would be liable for penalties or lost earnings if Condé Nast was forced to wait beyond January 1, 2014, to begin the process of moving in. (Climate Desk contacted Condé Nast, but the company did not respond on the record.)

But the fuel cell disaster created the real possibility that the Port Authority and Durst were not going to make that deadline, a potential financial disaster.

Part of the problem was a well-documented mistake in the building's design: A temporary underground structure serving an existing train station was preventing builders from finishing the tower's giant underground loading dock—the central piece of infrastructure used to haul masses of equipment up into the tower. Without the loading dock, there was no way for tenants to start moving their equipment into the building. And once a new loading dock went in—budgeted to cost $18.4 million—it would be all but impossible to remove and replace the dead fuel cells. Nevertheless, with the tight deadline, Port Authority decided to build the new loading dock. That meant the fuel cells had to come out fast—and finally, after several months, they did.

The Port Authority's director of environmental and energy programs, Christopher Zeppie, warns of construction delays if the fuel cells aren't removed in this March 2013 letter. Earlier, in December 2012, Zeppie told officials that "we need to get the damaged fuel cells out ASAP."

Today, more than two years after Sandy, the new loading dock still blocks access to the one window through which the fuel cells could possibly be replaced. Durst admits in a statement to Climate Desk that "in order to replace the fuel cells that were destroyed by Super Storm Sandy, One World Trade Center's interim loading dock needs to be disassembled," but did not say if or when that might occur.

With no new fuel cells, the Port Authority needed to figure out how the main tower was going to reach the 20 percent energy efficiency goal stipulated in the rules. According to Durst, the building has now met the goal, but the company did not detail exactly how the building now makes up energy savings, except to say it "has been achieved through a number of means," including the use of LED lighting. Focusing on the fuel cells is "missing the forest" for the trees, said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for Durst.

But that leaves a key part of the green deal in limbo: The rule that states that fuel cells must be built "into the towers." Durst did not deny that the building was currently in a state of noncompliance with the original 2007 agreement. Neither the Port Authority nor Durst would confirm which organization in the joint venture is ultimately responsible for replacing the fuel cells. The Port Authority declined to be interviewed or to answer a series of questions for this story, instead referring us to Durst.

.....Despite the setback for the building, those involved continue to publicly laud the project's green cred. Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority, opened the building earlier this month by saying the building "sets new standards of design, construction, prestige, and sustainability." Kenneth A. Lewis, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, told the USGBC magazine: "We want to open it up and have the LEED plaque on the door."

While there's still time to get the building across the line, Lewis' hope for a grand LEED-certified opening has vanished. For now, the doors are wide open, without the plaque, and without a clear solution to the alternative energy demands of the tower.

"If one thing is delayed or goes wrong, it very much has a domino effect with all the other parts," Hankin said. "It can result in a lot of finger-pointing."

NYguy Dec 9, 2014 5:24 AM


hunser Dec 10, 2014 9:19 PM in The Big Apple by mikey9t8t3, on Flickr by traumaNYC, on Flickr

drumz0rz Dec 11, 2014 5:36 PM

Not the greatest photo as it's digitally zoomed on my cell phone but I noticed something the other day:
With the evaporation towers on the roof of 1 WTC, and a low dew point, the roof pumps out a cloud of steam, which is enough to at times envelop the communications rings and the base of the spire.

I know it's a small point, but it did have an ominous similarity to the smoke pouring from the World Trade Centers on 9/11.

The original towers didn't have evaporation towers on the roof of the buildings, opting instead to pipe the hot return water back underground to the chiller plant (to be diluted into the Hudson's cold water).

I'm surprised no one raised any concerns over placing massive cooling towers on the roof. I think less than half of the buildings HVAC system was operating when I took this picture, as only Conde Nast's occupied floors would be really demanding climate control. Fully occupied, there might be a lot of winter steam billowing out up there.

Nexis4Jersey Dec 13, 2014 1:45 AM

Some WTC from today...

From Brooklyn Heights
Lower Manhattan viewed from Brooklyn Heights
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
Lower Manhattan viewed from Brooklyn Heights
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

From New Jersey
World Trade Center & Lower Manhattan Skyline viewed from the Northeast Corridor
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
Jersey City & Lower Manhattan Skyline viewed from the Northeast Corridor
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

mrjoanofarc Dec 14, 2014 4:24 AM



Nexis4Jersey Dec 15, 2014 4:21 AM

Viewed from Smith-9th Streets Station in Brooklyn
Lower Manhattan Skyline viewed from Smith-9th Streets Station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
Lower Manhattan Skyline viewed from Smith-9th Streets Station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

jayden Dec 16, 2014 1:22 AM

I just love it.

It's already iconic imo.

NYguy Dec 16, 2014 6:26 PM

Rat plague worsens at 1 WTC
Conde Nast staffers say that the rats have “taken over”

December 14, 2014

Bring out the Trump...

Donald takes to Twitter over Durst’s management of 1 WTC

By Steve Cuozzo
December 16, 2014


.....On Dec. 10, Trump blasted Durst’s stewardship of One World Trade Center three times on Twitter.

“Durst is a terrible manager. Tenants furious,” he tweeted of “endless security checks” at 1 WTC.

“Condé Nast made a big mistake going into the World Trade Center. The place is a total disaster and I feel this is only the beginning,” a second tweet fumed.

And, for good measure, “Durst is a disaster at operating the new World Trade Center,” again citing “impossible security.”

Of course, Trump is a TV showman as well as a real-estate guy, and he has a long history with colorful insults. (Remember how Leona Helmsley was “a disgrace to the human race?”)

But it’s hard to fathom his animus toward Durst, with whom he doesn’t compete — Trump hasn’t developed a new Manhattan building in many years — and whom he claims never to have met.

At least he’s dropped (for now at least) the bizarre attacks he made on Douglas Durst a year ago, when he suggested that his killer brother Robert Durst had a legitimate grudge which might have made him “angry.”

Trump told us Monday, “We were asked to be a bidder” on the minority stake in 1 WTC, which is 80 percent owned by the Port Authority, but declined because he preferred to build a “taller, stronger, more beautiful” version of the Twin Towers.

He stood by his tweets, saying, “If you go to meet somebody at Condé Nast it takes 25, 30 minutes to go through security.”

But Donald, haven’t you always said the WTC was a No. 1 terror target “with a bull’s eye around its neck?” Wouldn’t that be a good reason for intense security?

“You have to have security, yes, but you don’t want to be a tenant. People find it very unacceptable,” Trump said.

Never mind that it was Condé Nast, not Durst or the PA, that set up its own rigorous screening procedures. “People would much rather be at 40 Wall Street,” Trump sniffed, plugging the 1930s office tower he owns a few blocks east.

He also said Condé employees were “absolutely devastated [over] what’s going on” with other 1 WTC tenants. “There’s a Chinese company in there that speaks no English,” he fumed.

(Beijing Vantone signed a lease at 1 WTC two years before Condé Nast did. The tower’s 3 million square feet are about 63 percent leased and more deals are pending. Other office tenants include the federal GSA, KIDS creative, ad firm xAd and High 5 Games, while the Observatory on the 100th to 103rd floors has been leased to operator Legends.)

Trump grumbled that Durst had moved Condé Nast out of his 4 Times Square “so he could rent the space at a higher price in a stronger market.” Maybe he’s just jealous?

A Durst spokesman took the high road, declining to comment and instead referring us to Condé Nast.

Condé spokeswoman Patricia Rockenwagner said: “Condé Nast is proud to be the first major media company to commit to be relocating downtown and we’re very enthusiastic about being the first tenants of 1 World Trade Center. It is a beautiful building and an inspiring place to work.”

weidncol Dec 16, 2014 10:26 PM

The rat infestation has been under control.

NYguy Dec 17, 2014 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by weidncol (Post 6846531)
The rat infestation has been under control.

Apparently, it hasn't. They've got nothing to gain from those stories.

Meanwhile, a stunning image from the Observer...

NYguy Dec 18, 2014 11:18 PM

Take a Selfie With 1 World Trade Center at Downtown Photo Kiosk

By Irene Plagianos
December 18, 2014


Forget the selfie stick. A new Lower Manhattan kiosk lets you snap a selfie with a perfect view of One World Trade Center soaring behind you, for free.

The kiosk, launched Thursday at Albany Plaza at the corner of Greenwich and Albany streets, lets visitors take photos, play around with filters and email, tweet or Facebook the image.

The Downtown Alliance, a Lower Manhattan business improvement district, sponsored the bright red selfie station.

“We used to send postcards, but now we send selfies,” said Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin, after snapping her own selfie. “This is fun, and a first-of-a-kind way for visitors to share their experiences.”

Alliance officials said they had the idea for the kiosk after watching tourists frequently struggle to capture a selfie with the 1,776-foot tower, a huge Lower Manhattan attraction.

The kiosk, which cost $7,000, is the first selfie kiosk anywhere, according to the Alliance. The Alliance developed the machine with two tech companies, Zivelo and National Media Brands.

On Thursday, a young group of tourists smiled wide at the kiosk, happy that they’d found it. The three friends, from Canada and Rhode Island, had just been having a hard time striking the right selfie pose with the tower.

"This is so cool," said Shenty Hernandez, 22. "It looks great — we could not have gotten this to look as good by ourselves."

Use of the kiosk is free, but if you snap a photo the picture becomes co-owned by the Alliance, and may end up on its social media. Visitors have to agree to let the Alliance to use the image before they can send out the selfie themselves.

Lappin said if the booth proves popular, the Alliance made add others in Lower Manhattan.

Hudson11 Dec 19, 2014 1:05 AM

^ i'll admit it's a pretty clever idea.

ThatOneGuy Dec 19, 2014 3:48 AM


Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 6835578)
^ People keep saying that, but there was no way they were rebuilding those Twins. Those towers were designed for a different time. Trying to put that much office space into one office tower for Manhattan these days would create a much different and taller design. Even if you designed the same buildings (110 floors), the height would be much greater, meaning they wouldn't be the same, so what's the point in that?

I don't care if it wouldn't be as functional, they were some of the coolest and most iconic towers of all time.

weidncol Dec 19, 2014 4:15 AM

The officials at the PANYNJ are kicking their asses at this very moment for not rebuilding what was there before. They've said so many times that they made the biggest mistake by selecting this master plan. Simple reason: billions of $ worth of cost overruns and delays. It's just a huge headache for them.

Nexis4Jersey Dec 19, 2014 9:39 AM
lower Manhattan One World Trade Center
by pmarella, on Flickr

Amanita Dec 19, 2014 7:30 PM

That photo kiosk sounds hella cool, I'd be all over it!

Nexis4Jersey Dec 20, 2014 12:43 AM

From Today
World Trade Center 1 & 7 in Lower Manhattan,New York
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
World Trade Center 1 & EWR
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

CalibratedZeus Dec 20, 2014 5:07 AM

Several from earlier today from the top of the Grace building. by calibratedzeus, on Flickr by calibratedzeus, on Flickr by calibratedzeus, on Flickr

Hudson11 Dec 21, 2014 3:04 AM
New York City Sunset by pooroldtim, on Flickr

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