The New Design Of Ground Zero

We're getting a look at the future Freedom Tower, the building that will crown the new World Trade See Images From The Story
video Video: Design Echoes Statue of Liberty

(Lower Manhattan-WABC, December 19, 2003) -- We're getting a look at the future Freedom Tower, the building that will crown the new World Trade Center An updated design was unveiled earlier this morning by Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, and the designers who created it.

The design shows the Freedom Tower gracefully sloping upward into a spire that will rise 1,776 feet into the air. The designers say they are echoing the Statue of Liberty and invoking elements of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The design comes only after months of contentious negotiations between its creators, Daniel Libeskind and David Childs. It retains many elements of Libeskind's original plan but appears to smooth out many of its most angular elements.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the tower, which would be the world's tallest, would "dramatically reclaim a part of the New York City skyline that was lost on 9-11."

"This is a wonderful day, not just for New York, but for America," said Bloomberg.

The plan calls for a cable suspension structure that creates an open area above the building's 70 floors of office space, and houses windmills to generate energy. The windmills could provide 20 percent of the building's energy.

Childs likened the suspension elements of the new design to the Brooklyn Bridge, with the bottom of the building "torqued or twisted." The new design retains an important part of Libeskind's original concept, a 276-foot spire intended to evoke the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

Despite persistent reports of conflict between the two designers, Childs said they had "a spectacular time working together. Creative minds have different thoughts about how you do things. I wouldn't want to work with somebody who would just say yes."

Several safety features were included in the design, such as separate staircases for firefighters and "blast-resistant glaze" on the lobby glass.

"We wanted it to be safe, not only for the eventual occupants ... but for the contractors and the workers who will be up there constructing the world's tallest building," Childs said at the news conference.