YIMBY Checks Up On The World Trade Center Site Upon The 20th Anniversary of 9/11, In Financial District

The World Trade Center Photo by Michael Young

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 World Trade Center Photo by Michael Young

The World Trade Center Photo by Michael Young

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.

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Young

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.

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center in July. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center in July. Photo by Michael Young

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center in July. Photo by Michael Young

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.

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Rendering by LUXIGON

Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Rendering by LUXIGON

The grand staircase. Rendering by LUXIGON

Looking from Greenwich Street. Rendering by LUXIGON

Looking from the 9/11 Memorial. Rendering by LUXIGON

Looking from the 9/11 Memorial. Rendering by LUXIGON

The lobby perimeter Rendering by REX

The outdoor terrace in the daytime. Rendering by Rockwell Group

The outdoor terrace at night. Rendering by Rockwell Group

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.

The site of Two World Trade Center looking west. Photo by Michael Young

The site of Two World Trade Center looking north. Photo by Michael Young

The site of Two World Trade Center looking north. Photo by Michael Young

The beer garden on the site of Two World Trade Center. Photo by Michael Young

Two World Trade Center murals. Photo by Michael Young

The site of Two World Trade Center looking east. Photo by Michael Young

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.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in late August. Photo by Michael Young

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in late August. Photo by Michael Young

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in late August. Photo by Michael Young

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Photo by Michael Young

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Photo by Michael Young

Marble panels for the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Photo by Michael Young

Marble panels for the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Photo by Michael Young

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 PropertiesBrookfield PropertiesOmni 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.

Five World Trade Center. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. Renderings by DBOX

Five World Trade Center, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

Five World Trade Center, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

Five World Trade Center programming diagram, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

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.

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17 Comments on "YIMBY Checks Up On The World Trade Center Site Upon The 20th Anniversary of 9/11, In Financial District"

  1. David in Bushwick | September 11, 2021 at 8:41 am | Reply

    Five WTC looks quite good and it’s especially encouraging it will be 1,325 new housing units, including “affordable” housing. With all the new towers at Hudson Yards and elsewhere, NYC has an absolute glut of office space and many companies have decided to permanently have employees work from home so they will downsize their office space.
    With One WTC still 25% vacant and a Downtown pre-pandemic office vacancy rate of 11%, now would be a good time to revise Two WTC’s use into housing units to further enhance Downtown into a 24/7 community.

    • Many companies will NOT have their employees working forever at home. Time has since shown the ONLY benefit of work-at-home, for employers, is reducing/eliminating office space. The negatives to the employer are many, such as loss of supervision, employee drinking, extended hours worked just to get in the standard 8, employee isolation, loneliness, boredom, lack of company cohesion. Just to name a few. As Barry Diller said, you cannot run a global company from everybody’s living rooms. No doubt there are some jobs that CAN be done at home (and have been so, even before the virus), but many cannot be done as efficiently and effectively – in the long-term – as being in an office with fellow inter-active staff. My CPA office runs MUCH BETTER with my staff in the office. Working-at-home last year allowed me to survive. But not prosper.
      Finally, if you think offices are now “obsolete”, ask yourself why big tech companies – like Google and Disney, which mostly employ younger people, have just built sizeable office buildings in Hudson Square.

      • David in Bushwick | September 12, 2021 at 8:37 am | Reply

        Just like Fox Noise, you all always take your “arguments” to the opposite extreme. It never helps your case.

        • WTF? What the hell are you talking about?
          I run a business – a CPA firm – with a staff of 25. I have hundreds of clients I talk to. I know what I see, and what I they tell me. We do their accounting, tax returns, and business consultations.
          Do you WANT offices closed, with related businesses (ie restaurants) also gone? Or do you want a vibrant day-time city work/business culture?
          And where do you get politics out of my experience and client observations?
          And as for Fox “Noise”, they get it RIGHT! CNN/MSNBC/et al are just narratives, garbage. Proven wrong over and over. Keep your left-wing politics to yourself.

    • 1 WTC is 90% occupied, 4 WTC and 7 WTC are both 100%, and 3 WTC (the newest of the bunch) is 80%.

  2. The ‘glowing’ marble of the Perelman Performing Arts Center at night should be spectacular!

  3. David : Sent From Heaven. | September 11, 2021 at 9:28 am | Reply

    Look much more beautiful, Five World Trade Center was very well designed: Thanks to Michael Young.

  4. 20 years and still not done. Meanwhile in China… (need I say more?)

  5. It’s always so heartwarming to see all the construction at the World Trade Center. Honestly, I really don’t care when it finishes. Its almost never-ending progress really emphasizes the passion of the site.
    Finally, God bless all of those who perished, survived, or knew those who were involved, 20 years on.

  6. Twenty years of inadequate rebuilding.

    Leaving the Twin Tower footprints empty is UNFORGIVABLE…a symbolic surrender to the act that emptied them and the murderers who did it,showing the world that what terrorists destroy will stay destroyed and inviting future destructions by this precedent.

    NONE of the towers built or planned match the scale of those destroyed (4.3 million square feet and 110 stories each)…the new One WTC with its 1362 foot roof and 1368 foot parapet falls short of the old North Tower’s 1368 foot roof and South Tower’s 1374 foot rooftop platform…the top restaurant,observation,and office floors are lower than the old by increasing margins as you go down,nothing matches or exceeds the old WTC but the antenna height.

    Two WTC needs to be made TALLER than One,just 4 or even 3 more floors would do it…just to recapture the ability to go as high into the sky and have a floor under you that was there before.But it’s still in notably smaller buildings across streets from empty holes.

    But someday the DISGRACE of a memorial needs to be condemned and replaced by something that ACTUALLY honors the dead by reclaiming the space they had every right to be in when they were murdered.

  7. Let’s get it done ASAP

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