Originally Posted by Duffstuff129
What do with had been done with the site?
Assuming that means "what do you wish had been done with the site?"
Ironically, the current site plan goes right along with what I said should happen from the beginning. Firstly, there was always
going to be a memorial - you knew that - it was only a question of where and what size. I knew that the most logical location for the memorial was where the "footprints" of the towers were.
Initially, it was thought there wouldn't be anything more than 50 stories built at the site. But gradually a general awarness of the public's appetite (and demand) for something tall
to be built at the site came into focus. I think this came to a head at the "Listening to the City" event at the Javits Center (July 2002). I still have a little paperwork from going there.
Six site plans were revealed before the event, and at each table the pros and cons of each were discussed.
My favorite at that time was for the site plan that followed what I wanted to see most, MEMORIAL PLAZA:
Another of the 6 plans, MEMORIAL GARDENS, showed an early prototype of what would become a design element of the Freedom Tower.
But ultimately, those early plans being just massings of potential development - with no pretty renderins for the public to drool over - forced the LMDC to go back to the drawing boards. At the end of the year however, they came back in force - this time with renderings and more specific detail than they wanted (the architectural teams were told not to touch the memorial space, which would have a competition of its own). Larry Silverstein meanwhile kept his own architect, David Childs, on standby.
Those second wave of plans can be viewed here:
My favorite of that group was Norman Foster's "'kissing towers", 1,764 feet tall.
Meanwhile, in the background of all of this was the urgent need of the area's television broadcasters to replace the broadcast antenna that was lost at 1 WTC. Early on, it was not all that clear that anything approaching the height the broadcasters wanted - 2,000 ft - would be built at the WTC site. The broadcasters had to search for a site within a 3 mile radius, alternating between Governor's Island (Bloomberg objected), Jersey City, and finally Bayonne, New Jersey. There were various designs for that proposal, including one with an observation deck. But they eventually settled on a 2,000 ft monster...
In September 2002, after an expression of interest by MTVA tower planners, the rendering was produced to illustrate how the tower could appear on The Peninsula. As specified by the MTVA, the tower is crowned with 3 antenna masts. Broadcaster's call this antenna arrangement a "candelabra". The tower must accommodate an unprecedented number of antennas at an optimum height of from 1800 feet (for maximum coverage) to 2049 feet (maximum height above sea level permitted by FAA regulations): Hence the three masts on a circular platform.
A stripped down version of the original plan, still 2,000 ft
Read more on the Bayonne/Jersey City fight for the tower
Back at the WTC site planning, it came down to two finalists: the design for the World Cultural Center
And Daniel Libeskind's Memorial Gardens
Governor Pataki's LMDC was ready to select the WCC as the winning site plan, but Pataki stepped in and decided that "they" would instead choose Daniel Libeskinds plan. The basis for this was Libeskind's treatment of the memorial space, which ironically wasn't supposed to be included in the design elements.
Libeskind's site plan called for a spiral of towers (similar to the Memorial Plaza from the original site planning) with the tallest tower standing at the northwest corner of the site - with the spire reaching a specific height of 1,776 feet, marking the beginning of America's independence. This ultimately led to Pataki giving the building the name of Freedom Tower.
Now that some serious consideration to height was back on the table, the MTVA (Metropolitan Television Alliance - the broadcasters) began to look at the WTC again. Over the next year developer Larry Silverstein and his architect David Childs (who also designed 7 WTC) worked with the broadcasters and Guy Nordenson on a tower that would reach the 2,000 ft height the broadcasters wanted. David Childs decided that he would mark Libeskind's 1,776 ft with an observation deck at that height.
Daniel Libeskind was outraged at the height of this tower (the other towers had yet to be revealed, but all were considered to be under 1,000 ft at the time). Libeskind felt that this tower would overwhelm his site plan and didn't relate to the Statue of Liberty and it's raised torch they way he wanted it to. Governor Pataki agreed, and forced a compromise between the architects, which resulted in this:
The final chapter would come down to the NYPD, which had been trying to call attention to security concerns about the base of the tower. The tower was aligned along West Street (Libeskind wanted it aligned with the slurry wall) which the NYPD thought made it an easier
target. Also, there was too much glass. The result was that the Freedom Tower had to be streamlined, the base made more secure, and the office space located further away from the street. The result was a tower which came close in height and design to the original WTC towers. David Childs decided to mark these points specifically, and it's pretty much what we have under construction today:
There was no such drama with the design of the other towers.
To make a long story short, I am pleased with what will be the new World Trade Center. Could the designs have been better? Perhaps. Should the towers have been taller? Realistically, probably not. Most office towers these days won't go much higher. But the bottom line is that the skyline is being restored, and we'll have a much more friendly WTC at street level. At the same time, we will get a memorial and a memorial museum.....