Freedom Tower -- The Journal
contributor Dick Sheppard, who works in an office directly
overlooking the World Trade Center site, hopes to track progress
of the ascent of Freedom Tower, which at 1776 feet will be [more]
previous journals, see bottom of this page.
11, 2006 and Tribute in Lights
2007 Installment of the Monthly Journal
the sidebar, Building Freedom Tower -- The Journal for introduction]
Friday, November 9, 2007
Sorry for the long interval between entries,
work obviously continues across Lower Manhattan
While there is very little above ground
visible progress, all around Lower Manhattan’s many constructions zones,
plenty of “under” structure work is aggressively underway, inside Ground
Zero, along Church Street from Liberty Street north to Vesey Street, and
under Dey Street. Like everyone else with a keen curiosity for seeing
above ground structure, I carefully look for progress. The Deutsch Bank
building (130 Cedar) demolition remains on hold since the August fire.
WTC PATH access canopy
The Sixth Anniversary of 9/11/01 has
passed, the first Tuesday anniversary, as 9/11/01 was a Tuesday.
It will likely always be a somber day in Lower Manhattan.
Zuccotti Park, a plaza between Broadway and Trinity Place, and
Cedar Street and Liberty, hosted the commemoration. Some 9/11
Family members would’ve preferred the commemoration remain
inside the confines of the WTC complex, but construction and
just plain dust and dirt at the WTC site dictated the move. Some
family members did descend the long ramp into the site, at the
bottom of which a small temporary memorial became covered with
flowers and tears.
Unlike last year’s Fifth
Anniversary, crowds were lighter. There were, and likely always
will be, a gaggle of perhaps a few hundred “9/11”
conspiracy-mongers who believe anyone but the actual people who
flew the planes into the building did the dastardly deed. Their
notions are their right, and we’re all entitled to mistaken
notions as long as we keep open minds. They’re minds are
irrevocable, but they were peaceable. The overall tone walking
around the entire site was somber and normal. People going about
their business, realizing it’s been six years (!) since the
thousands lost their lives as the towers fell. How many consider
something just as deadly might happen again?
Not a pleasant thought, but we can
never know until it happens or doesn’t happen. The Tribute in
Light, the two piercing beans which shine up into space were
alight, at least for one evening, reminding all of the majesty
and power of Lower Manhattan. Still among the financial capitals
of the planet.
At Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower site -
left concrete wall is Fulton St. under-structure right smaller
wall is PATH Vesey Street access
On the west side of the site, where
Freedom Tower and the Memorial will exist, the major activity in
the past month has been the build-up of what will become Fulton
Street. Fulton Street will enter the east border of the WTC site
from Church Street, and cut through west, skirting just south of
the Freedom Tower. Untold amounts of concrete have been poured
onto rebar, and into temporary braces and supports for the walls
and floors of the Fulton Street understructure. As this takes
place just alongside at the Freedom Tower footprint, more
Freedom Tower understructure is taking shape as well. Though
there is no new structural steel rising, nonetheless plenty of
Freedom Tower’s core lower levels are being installed. Just east
of Freedom Tower, the steel structure which will be the final
temporary PATH access onto Vesey Street is nearly enclosed.
At the Memorial site, which is
generally the southwest section of the WTC, all of the concrete
footings which were anchored into the bedrock have been
backfilled, and the area remains essentially flat, with no
visible Memorial structures rising.
The Vesey Street PATH access is at
least several weeks - if not longer - from completion. And
there’s news that the permanent wing-like Salvatore Calatrava
station is now behind schedule by about two years. The scheduled
opening was 2009, that date has been moved into 2011. No reason
provided, at the site where the Calatrava station will arise,
there is a very large deep pit. Yet the present Church Street
PATH access is in the way of all northeast WTC construction.
The Eastern Bathtub
Tower 4 foundation
SE corner of WTC site. Wall at lower left is bathtub wall.
At the intersection of Liberty and
Church Street/Trinity Place, where about 7-8 months ago steel
rebar cages were being lowered into the ground to form the
“bathtub” wall, the areas behind those walls has been dug out,
and those walls are exposed. The ever-evolving plan now is too
get two of the Church Street towers, Tower 4, which will be
right at the corner of Church Street and Liberty, and Tower 3
just north, underway. These will be built ahead of Tower 2 which
will arise further north on Church Street and Vesey Street. It
looks like they’ve finished installing the rebar cages for that
north part of the eastern bathtub, but haven’t started digging
out the site, except in the approximate areas of the Calatrava
PATH station. Soon, essentially, the eastern bathtub is going to
be like the western bathtub – a large, deep hole in the ground
from which buildings will rise.
Fulton Transit Hub/Dey Street
west understreet work at Dey Street Head-House
Just as most of the WTC is now
nearly ready for actual building with foundation understructure
coming out of the bedrock, the Fulton Transit site is a vast,
plywood enclosed construction site. A tall foundation drilling
rig was at work on the east side of Broadway between Fulton and
John Street, but apparently has finished it’s work and been
removed. I don’t have the same, “bird’s eye” view of the Fulton
Transit Hub as I enjoy of the WTC site, so I can only report
that they are digging out the foundation of the Fulton Hub, a
large hole in the ground prepatory to building above.
On Dey Street and Broadway, they are
really exposing the understructure of what will be the east end
of the Dey Street understreet pedestrian passage. Here you can
see that what will become a “head-house” on the southwest corner
of Dey and Broadway will soon be rising. A “head house” is a
rail-roaders term for a street-level subway access structure.
This is going to be finished well
before the Fulton Hub across Broadway. In fact, the Dey Street
passage will likely be completed well before the Fulton Hub, and
will access the Dey Street head house. The passage under Dey
from Church is only going to be narrow for a very short portion
at the western end of Dey Street. As it gets closer to Broadway,
there will be a large under-street plaza which will feed
pedestrians into the Dey Street head-house and to the subways
under Broadway and beyond.
Looking east on Dey
St. towards Broadway understreet passage work. At this point
passage will widen out into an under-street plaza.
There is a renewed amount of
activity all along Dey Street from Broadway to Church Street,
under which the passage will run. More construction workers,
more scenes of cranes hoisting steel bins of the dirt dug out
for the passage. Cement being poured through funnels leading
under the street. The entire front of the Millennium Hilton on
Church between Dey and Fulton is ripped up as they build out
what will be the connection between the Calatrava PATH station
and the Dey Street passage.
Concrete pouring on Dey Street
in front of Century 21 department store is also laid open for
understreet work. All of this is to accommodate the new
Cortlandt Street station for the N/R trains. I think they want
to get this understreet passage done, it will help alleviate the
crazy traffic and pedestrian patterns all along Church from
Liberty at the south end of the WTC site, to Vesey at the North.
The cars zoom north on Church Street, just two lanes,
pedestrians overflow from the sidewalks which are often just
lanes of Church Street denied to cars with large wooden fences.
View south on Church
Street at Century 21 - under-street work on Cortlandt N-R
Deutsch Bank/130 Liberty Street
crane at 130 Liberty Deutsche Bank building
No activity on this forlorn site
since the August, 2007 fire a few months back. Occasionally one
glimpses a few workers on some of the lower floors, but hardly
ever on the roof. The large tower crane resumes it’s role as a
weather vane, swinging slowly to-n-fro in the wind.
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