After months of speculation, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has selected an architectural team to rebuild the World Trade Center site. Architect Daniel Libeskind’s 1,776-foot spire will tower over a sunken pit that was originally located beneath the World Trade Center. The original WTC was only 1,350 feet tall.
The memorial will be determined by a second design competition that will take place this spring. "The plan succeeds both when it rises into the sky and when it descends into the ground. I doing so, it captures the soaring optimism of our city and honors the eternal spirit of our fallen heroes," says John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.
Even though the design has been chosen, a host of other issues continue to dog rebuilding efforts. A proposed underground parking garage and the amount of commercial office space to be built on the site are two issues that have not yet been resolved. The financing for the project also is unclear.
"This plan should focus more on what this city needs and less on the designs. Downtown needs a comprehensive change, not just on the site, and better transportation," says Barry Gosin, CEO of New York-based real estate brokerage Newmark.