Freedom Tower

From Academic Kids

For the tower in Miami, see Freedom Tower (Miami)
Artist's depiction of the proposed Freedom Tower amidst the New York skyline at night.
Artist's depiction of the proposed Freedom Tower amidst the New York skyline at night.
Freedom Tower as it may be seen during the day from the Hudson River.
Freedom Tower as it may be seen during the day from the Hudson River.

The Freedom Tower is the name given to the planned centerpiece building of the new World Trade Center in New York City, whose predecessor was destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

When completed (possibly by 2009), by some measurements the Freedom Tower might become the tallest building in the world, with its spire rising to a symbolic height of 1776 feet (541 m) (1776 is significant to Americans as the year of the United States Declaration of Independence from Great Britain).



The Freedom Tower and the complex of new buildings around it is designed to replace the 10 million ft² (~1 million m²) of office space lost as well as provide symbolic value. The tower will have 70 stories, and 2.6 million ft² (240,000 m²) of office space.The design includes a 276 foot (84 m) spire meant to echo the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

The Freedom Tower will make history by being the first skyscraper to integrate large-scale wind turbines, which will generate up to 20% of the building's electrical power needs. Wind turbines are generally not suited for urban environments because of turbulence created by other nearby buildings, but the altitude of the wind turbines is expected to overcome that difficulty.

Like the World Trade Center, there will be a public lobby, and two concourse levels which will house retail stores and provide pedestrian access to mass transit. Capped on the very top of the 60 floors will be an indoor observation deck, a restaurant, and an event space. The Freedom Tower Spire's upper levels in some plan conceptions contain a massive vertical garden memorial known as Gardens of the World.

On top of the spire, the antenna may, pending design finalization, raise the height of the Tower to over 2000 feet (610 m). This will be the new broadcasting system to various New York TV channels and Radio stations, replacing the antenna on top of the North Tower of the former World Trade Center complex. However, other renderings assume the antenna will be entirely within the spire, and as of January 2005 it was still unclear if it was possible to construct the spire as designed [1] (

Other plans suggested the construction of a 609.6 metre high TV tower at Bayonne, New Jersey for the transmission facilities. This plans seemed to have been cancelled, although it would allow a wider transmission range than a site in New York City.

Missing image
Freedom tower specifications.


The World Trade Center's North Tower featured an occupied floor at 1,355 feet (413 m). The Freedom Tower's top floor will be much lower, at about 1,100 feet (335 m) where there will be an observation deck. Above will be latticework containing power generating wind turbines, another observation deck at 1500 feet (457 m), possibly gardens, and a 276 foot spire at the top, bringing the building's total height to 1,776 feet (541 m). By contrast, the Sears Tower, Taipei 101, and other buildings have top floors higher than the Freedom Tower. Union Square Phase 7 and the Shanghai World Financial Center will have roofs and floors higher than Freedom Tower's latticework. Only by the standard measurements of the spire and probably antenna height criteria of the organizations such as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) will the Freedom Tower possibly be the tallest building in the world. Indeed, the Burj Dubai tower, whose height is a guarded secret, will probably surpass all existing buildings in height when it is finished in 2008.


Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the Trade Center, will most likely be the owner of the Freedom Tower when completed. However, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the 16 acre (65,000 m²) site. The Port Authority estimates the Freedom Tower to cost USD 1.5 to 2 billion alone or about $675/ft² (~$7300/m²). The Port Authority plans to occupy at least one-third of the office space but no private-sector tenants have yet been found.

The master planner and architect of the Freedom Tower is architect Daniel Libeskind, although David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, an architect for Silverstein is also working with him to maximize office space. Libeskind has in fact never designed a skyscraper before.


The Freedom Tower design has generated some controversy due to the limited number of floors (a maximum of 70) that is slated to house office space and other amenities. The floor limit was imposed by Silverstein, who expressed concern that higher floors would be a liability in a major accident or terrorist attack.

Some architects, however, have contended that a taller building should have been considered, suggesting that for reasons of cost and engineering, taller buildings may actually be safer.

There have also been accusations of corruption on the part of Governor George Pataki, using his influence to get the winning architect's bid picked as a personal favor for a close friend. [2] (

Other Freedom Tower opponents see the latticework and antenna on top of the tower to be a mask of the reality that the tower's inhabited stories will be fewer in number to the Twin Towers', and that the Freedom Tower would therefore in reality and for practical purposes be shorter than its predecessors. These critics see replacing two towers with a single, shorter tower as an inappropriate humbling or chastening contrary to the proud nature of New York and the United States, and even as a symbolic retreat in the face of terrorism, contrary to the defiant posture they prefer. Many of them believe the absence of the iconic Twin Towers creates an ongoing emotional wound that can only be healed by rebuilding the towers as they looked before, as tall or taller.

Alternatives: Twin Towers 2

Many architects and designers have proposed alternatives to the officially approved plan, selected after a process that carefully and strictly disqualified plans reminiscent of the old Twin Towers from consideration. The most widely known of the alternative plans ( is the one now known as Twin Towers 2.

On May 18, 2005 Donald Trump, long-time opponent of the Freedom Tower design, held a press conference where he endorsed the Twin Towers 2 plan, which calls for a nearly-identical design to the originals, but 1 story taller. (New York Times (

Officials were quick to dismiss Trump's proposal. Many noted that Trump has nothing to do with the Freedom Tower project, and has no say in the final design of the tower. However, polls taken by MSNBC, the New York Daily News, and CNN all showed majority support for Twin Towers 2 over the official plan. Some noted that the press conference was timed to correlate with the season finale of Trump's television show, The Apprentice, and amounted to a publicity stunt to create media buzz to try and stem the ratings drop experienced by the third season of The Apprentice.

Security redesign

Security concerns outlined in April 2005 by the New York Police Department "have set off a serious reassessment of plans for the World Trade Center site. People involved in the rebuilding effort say that the revisions that need to be made to the site's most prominent feature, the Freedom Tower, could delay the start of construction from several months to a year." [3] (

In May 2005 it was announced that a redesign was being done to provide for security from ground level bombs. ""The building itself, except for the first 150 to 200 vertical feet, will be the same," said Charles Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the land." [4] ( The redesign is said to entail a smaller ground footprint,and it is not known if this means office space in the building will be reduced,or upper floors will be made larger or more numerous to compensate. As of May 2005 no structural steel had been ordered.

Image permission statement

All sources of original images are used by permission and published by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation [5] (


  • Eli Attia, "Which future for Ground Zero" in The Fresno Bee, May 24, 2002. Accessed online at [6] (, retrieved July 5th, 2004.

See also

External links and references

eo:Turo de Libero fi:Freedom Tower fr:Freedom Tower pl:Wieża Wolności sv:Freedom Tower


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