As New York City and the United States remembers and commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11, YIMBY once again takes a look at the sacred 16-acre World Trade Center site, which holds the two square footprints of the former Twin Towers that are part of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. We focus on the active and ongoing construction of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, and the current state of Two and Five World Trade Center. All of which are, or are around, the former trapezoidal superblock that held six of the original World Trade Center buildings bound by West, Vesey, Church, and Liberty Streets.
The most noticeable aspect of construction is happening at the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Designed by REX with Davis Brody Bond Architects as the executive architect and developed by an independent non-profit company called The Perelman, the 138-foot-tall venue is seeing the tight array of black perimeter columns going up and around the perimeter of the topped-out steel superstructure. These critical components will soon hold up the light-colored marble exterior. It’s conceivable to see the first few segments of the uniform stone facade installed before the end of the year. Sciame Construction LLC is in charge of building the structure, which is scheduled to open in 2023.
Progress on this outer portion of the performing arts center began around mid-July on the northern elevation facing Vesey Street and gradually made its way southward toward the south wall facing the two reflecting pools of the Twin Towers.
Below are several renderings made by LUXIGON, REX, and Rockwell Group that give us a sneak peak of what the main lobby, the performance venues, outdoor terraces, and how the marble will look up close and from afar. You can see the other depictions in an earlier YIMBY article.
Our next look takes us to the static state of Two World Trade Center, aka 200 Greenwich Street, that’s bound by Vesey Street to the north, Church Street to the east, Fulton Street, Greenwich Street to the west. and the Oculus, designed by Santiago Calatrava, to the south. It was last reported that Norman Foster of Foster + Partners is revamping his former four diamond-topped design that was initially revealed in 2006. Bjarke Ingels then revealed his office supertall iteration during the summer of 2015 with a series of landscaped stepped setbacks and cantilevering glass boxes. However Silverstein Properties is bringing back Foster with the eyes of the world awaiting to finally get a glimpse of the British architect’s future 1,350-foot-tall New York landmark. The architectural height would be only 18 feet shy of One World Trade Center’s roof line, but from afar the two office supertalls would look nearly identical in roof height. Construction remains stalled at only one story since the early 2010’s with exposed mechanical systems, corrugated steel, and equipment colorfully spray painted by various commissioned artists in the past couple of years. On the eastern end of the parcel is a public beer garden, while running north and south down the center of the property are doors leading down to the Westfield World Trade Center mall, the PATH trains, the subterranean walkway extending under West Street toward Brookfield Place, and subway access to the 2, 3, A, C, E, R, and W trains. A recent update seen on The Real Deal indicated that Silverstein Properties is seeing interest from tech and finance companies eyeing the planned office tower, and hopes to resume construction in the next six to twelve months.
Resting atop Liberty Park is Santiago Calatrava‘s topped-out St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. More of the white marble panels for the walls and dome are carefully being lifted and mounted in place. Steel-framed crates can be seen along Greenwich and Liberty Streets, each holding a handful of marble panels. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is developing the church and is predicted to be finished sometime next year. Check out our early August update when installation began on the first parts of the marble dome.
Finally we look at Five World Trade Center, aka 130 Liberty Street. Updated renderings first revealed in February showcased a 900-foot-tall design by Kohn Pedersen Fox that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey selected as the winning bid at a board meeting last winter. Silverstein Properties, Brookfield Properties, Omni New York LLC, and Dabar Development Partners would lease the 1.56 million-square-foot mixed-use skyscraper under a 99-year ground lease. The site today is currently owned by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and is bound by the elevated Liberty Park and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to the north, Greenwich Street to the east, Albany Street to the south, and Washington Street to the west. Within the property is an open-air parking lot for security vehicles, a narrow public park, and no sign of clearing the site for construction yet. But when that moment in time arrives, the edifice would rise out of the former home of the 39-story Deustsche Bank Building, which was heavily damaged by falling debris from the south tower on 9/11 and was fully demolished at the end of January 2011. Five World Trade Center will feature 190,000 square feet of office space, a 12,000-square-foot community facility space, 55,000 square feet of public amenity space, 7,000 square feet of retail space, and 1.2 million square feet of residential space divided into 1,325 apartments. Of these, 330, or 25 percent of the total inventory, will be devoted to affordable housing. Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2023 and be complete by 2028.
It remains unclear as to when the entire rebuilding process of the World Trade Center will finally come to a much long-awaited conclusion. Numerous factors include many architecturally radical designs, economic and political shifts, technological innovations and interactions with people across the world, a global pandemic, and the concerning environmental and climate changes in recent years, will all continue to contribute to the final outcome of the master plan. YIMBY hopes to see this historically significant section of New York real estate complete its rebirth by the end of the 2020’s and fully fill in the final gaps of the iconic Lower Manhattan skyline.