LOWER MANHATTAN: World Trade Center, Ground Zero, Battery Park (City), World Financial Center and the area around

The new World Trade Center

On September 11 2001, two commercial aircrafts hit the Twin Towers of World Trade Center. It lead to the collapse of both towers, just a few hours after the first tower was hit. Nearly 3000 people died in the attacks of WTC and Pentagon. It also lead to a a number of wars, and restricted security rules all over the world. In March 1998 I was there, visiting the observation deck of the old Twin Towers on a foggy day. They were New York's tallest buildings, and USA:s 2nd and 3rd tallest (after Sears Tower in Chicago), 110 floors tall each. Upon completion in 1973 they were the world's tallest buildings, situated on the southern edge of Lower Manhattan. Tower One measured 417m to the top and was beginning to take shape already during our visit. You can see pictures from my visit to the old towers on this page. But this is about the development of the new WTC, that I experienced in 2011, less then 2 weeks before the 10 year anniversary. The site was called Ground Zero after the attacks, but I prefer to refer it to the WTC construction site, to focus more on the future. It is also important to not forget the past.



Old WTC pictures: this page


The destroyed Twin Towers of WTC will be replaced by 5 new skyscrapers with futuristic glass facades that reminds a bit of glass crystals. The tallest one will be One World Trade Center, formerly called Freedom Tower. It was designed by David Childs at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and will be 541m tall to the top of the spire, 124m taller then the tallest of the old towers. It will have 105 floors (5 less then the old WTC!) and is estimated to be completed in 2013. Upon completion it will hold the title as USA:s tallest building. The building is designed to resist terror attacks, for example the concrete base will have almost no windows and will be blast resistant! The towers will be managed by Silverstein Properties. A memorial was inaugurated just weeks after our visit. The memorial consist of 2 holes on the places were the old towers stood. Inside the holes are beautiuful sunken waterfalls, surrounded by trees. On the walls of the 2 memorials you can read the names of all the ones who died on 9/11. There will also be a new futuristic PATH station designed by Santiago Calagrava, and a 9/11 memorial museum will open, currently under construction (2011).

Here is a list of all towers:
One WTC (Freedom Tower). 541m tall (spire, 417m without), 105 floors. Expected completion in 2013. Architect: David Childs (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.)
Two WTC. 412m tall, 88 floors. Expected completion in 2015. Architect: Norman Foster.
Three WTC. 357m tall (spire), 80 floors. Expected completion in 2014. Architect: Richard Rogers.
Four WTC. 297m tall, 72 floors. Expected completion in 2013. Architect: Fumihiko Maki.
Seven WTC. 229m tall, 52 floors. Completed in 2006. Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

You can follow the project and find more info on http://www.wtc.com

One World Trade Center (formerly Freedom Tower) is the skyscraper u/c in the middle that will be 541m tall to the top of the spire, and have 105 floors, when completed. It is the only property that will be owned by Port Authority. To the right is the already completed 7WTC, that replaced the old 7WTC that collapsed on 10/11 (the day after, leading to expectations that there was bombs inside by conspiracy theorists). The reasons it was completed already before the other ones were built it is that there was another owner, that didn't have to wait. The brown buildings with green roofs in the background belong to World Financial Center, a complex that was heavily damaged during 9/11, but have been repaired.

One WTC, u/c (completion 2014), and Seven WTC, completed in 2006, that is considered one of the greenest skyscrapers in the world.

World Financial Center, World Trade Center (1, 4 and 7).

Another version of the same picture.

Four World Trade Center. It was designed by Fumihiko Maki and will be the 4th tallest tower (297m) and will be completed in 2013.

4 WTC, some smaller buildings and Liberty Plaza.

Close-up of One WTC and Seven WTC.

The base of One WTC is designed to resist terror attacks, for example the concrete base will have almost no windows and will be blast resistant! It will later be covered with mirrors to prevent the fortress looking feeling.

The Millenium Hilton, just a few years old hotel in 2001, was also damaged during the attacks of 9/11.

Construction workers, working on the new World Trade Center. Behind the fence is 2 and 3 WTC u/c, but as off 2011 construction just begun.

How to get around Ground Zero.

The 9/11 memorial museum under construction.

The trees around the 2 9/11 memorials, that stand on the sites were the old WTC Twin Towers stood. The memorials feature waterfalls and was inaugurated just weeks after our visit. In the background is Federal Building from 1935 (the long one to the left), Barclay Building from 2007 (the white skyscraper) and Transportation Building from 1927.

Ten House Fire Station, just next to WTC.

FDNY Memorial Wall, a bronze wall that was a gift from a law firme, honouring the 6 firemen from Ten House and totally 343 firemen that lost their life on 9/11.

The burning WTC at the FDNY Memorial Wall at Ten House Fire Station.

"May we never forget". An honour to the firemen who lost their life, and the ones who got sick, on 9/11. In July 2006, a ceremony was held to open the memorial.

Skanska, a Swedish construction company originally from the area where I live, is working on parts of the WTC redevelopment!

Everywhere around the Ground Zero you can see the presence of the police.

One Liberty Plaza (right) from 1973 was also damaged after the 9/11 attacks. The 226m tall building stands just next to the WTC site and was considered to be torn down because of the damage, but survived. A building that was demolished however, was the Singer Building, that once was the world's tallest building. It stood on this site and was demolished in 1968. Before 9/11 the Singer Bldg was the tallest building that had been demolished!

St Paul's Chapel, situated just next to the WTC site, was just slightly damaged after the attacks, unlike the large Twin Towers!

St Paul's Chapel seen from Church Street.

Trinity Building from 1905. A beautiful 21-storey building with gothic architecture next to WTC. It was designed by Francis H. Kimball.

Century 21 is a department store with lower prices, that is situated just next to WTC/Ground Zero, but is less known as the more expensive ones on Midtown.

W Hotel, a newer skyscraper next to WTC.

The top of One WTC, taking shape. It has some floors left before topping out.

WTC PATH station, under construction. It was designed by Santiagao Calatrava, the architect who designed Turning Torso in Malmö. The deisgn can be seen in the middle of the wall.

Looking up towards the future: One WTC and Four WTC.

This is how the new One World Trade Center will look like when completed.

World Financial Center:

World Financial Center is a large office complex designed by Cesar Pelli, just next to the WTC. consist of 4 skyscrapers that were built on Battery Park City, land that were claimed from the sea with soil that was left over from the then new World Trade Center, built between 1985 and 1987. They stand just next to Ground Zero, where the old WTC stood, and were damaged during 9/11 but didn't have to be torn down. The most significant feature of these postmodern towers is that they all have brown granite facades and green copper roofs, in different shapes. Between the towers there are glass atriums. They are 152-225m tall.

World Financial Center. Here you can see 3 of the 4 towers, designed by Cesar Pelli. The tallest one is Three WFC from 1986 to the left with 51 floors and 225m height. The towers are connected with light glass atriums and skybridges.

WFC (left) and WTC (right).

Ground Zero and the solid concrete base of One WTC seen from a skybridge above West Street, looking to the North.

West Street, looking to the South towards Battery Park.

The entrance to World Financial Center.

Four WTC and Millenium Hilton seen from WFC.

The atrium in One WFC. All towers have their own atrium, this one features a lot of marble and has a dome on the top.

Winter Garden is the atrium of One Financial Center. The round glass roof, the high palms, the circular stairs and the mable floor are all special features of this place.

The marble floor may look shiny, but on 9/11 people jumped from the WTC towers, crashed through the glass roof of Winter Garden, and were killed when hitting the floor! A real tragedy...

Ground Zero, now the WTC construction site, seen from Three WFC. One WTC can be seen to the left.

One WTC seen from Three WFC.

Winter Garden's marble stairs and cupola.

The high palms of Winter Garden.

One WTC u/c, seen from Three WFC:s glass atrium roof.

The exterior of Three WFC and the Winter Garden. One WFC resembles London's tallest building for years, One Canada Square.

The nice plaza outside WFC, looking towards Hudson River and Jersey City, New Jersey. It features open-air restaurants.

The atrium between Three and Four World Financial Center is slightly lighter and has a shopping arcade.

Looking up from Three WFC:s atrium.

Goldman Sachs new world HQ was completed in 2010, right next to WTC and WFC, on Battery Park City. It is 228m tall and was designed by Pei Cobb Freed who also designed a skyscraper that it reminds of a lot: Tour EDF in Paris.

Skyscrapers from the left: Goldman Sachs HQ, 7 WTC (with older bldg in front), 1 WTC, 1 WFC. This is were the Tribeca neighbourhood begins.

WFC and the American flag.

Federal Office Building from 1935 was damaged by a plane's landing gear on 9/11.

To the left is Barclay-Vesey Building, that was considered the first Art Deco skyscraper. It was built in 1926 and was badly damaged during 9/11, but has been repaired.

Battery Park City:

Battery Park City is a neighbourhood just next to WTC. It is built on landfill that was claimed from the sea with soil that was left over from the then new World Trade Center, built in the 1970s and 80s. World Financial Center is part of it.

Battery Park:

Battery Park is the park in Battery Park City, a land area that was claimed from the sea. In Battery Park you can find Castle Clinton, views of the sea and as well as several memorials and sculptures, including currently the Sphere from the old WTC, . The ferry to the Statue of Liberty departs from Battery Park. It is 10 hectare in size and was named for artillery batteries that were positioned here centuries ago.

The Sphere survived the 9/11 attacks, but was heavily damaged. It is a sculpture that stood right in front of the old World Trade Center and was relocated to Battery Park after the attacks. It was designed by the German sculptur Fritz Koenig.

The eternal flame is a memorial to the victims of 9/11. It is part of Hope Garden, originally dedicated to AIDS victims.

The Sphere from 1971, looking toward Bowling Green.

Battery Park: view of classic buildings. The Whitehall Building in the middle was built in 1904, but the 30-storey tower, seen in the back, was added in 1910. It was the largest office building in the world when completed.

Battery Park City with the sloping roof of Millennium Point/Ritz-Carlton to the left.

Skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan seen from Battery Park.

Castle Clinton is a circular fort built 1811. It was once the first immigration station of the US, before Ellis Island.

Castle Clinton is today a National Monument. The fort has been moved from an articifical island where it originally stood. It has been used as an aquarium and The Swedish soprano Jenny Lind held a concert here in 1850.

The Statue of Liberty seen from Castle Clinton.

Battery Park with the new WTC in the background.

Hotdog stand in Battery Park with Jersey City skyline in the background.

The ferry to the Statue of Liberty and many other ferries depart from Battery Park.

NYPD, this Ford Crown Victoria belongs to the coast guard.

East Coast Memorial, a memorial to the ones who died on World War II. 4 609 names are inscribed.

The eagle of the East Coast Memorial. This bronze statue from 1963 faces the Statue of Liberty.

East Coast Memorial with the skyscrapers at State Street behind.

New York Water Taxi. "The yellow cab of the sea"...

Miss New York, one of the Statue of Liberty ferries.

One of the 8 orange Staten Island ferries.

The ferries to the Statue of Liberty depart from Battery Park. We didn't have time to take it. It was extremely hot this day, just before the heavy rain!

The James Watson House, a small church and apartment building from 1793, is now surrounded with large skyscrapers! It was the home of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint, and is now the site of the Roman Catholic shrine.

Lower Manhattan skyline seen from Staten Island Ferry, including Battery Park, World Financial Center, some classic skyscrapers and the new World Trade Center.
In the far distance to the left, to the right of WTC, you can see the top of Empire State Building.