Plus Ca Change

People (perhaps even we did at one time in our lives) like to point out how much Daniel Libeskind’s site plan has been abandoned, but today’s unveiling of the next three towers at Ground Zero shows there’s a lot of Danny left. Compare this after-dark rendering:

WTC Nite Site resized.jpg
(Credit: Silverstein Properties and dbox)

… with Libeskind’s revised plans from September 2003:

Libeskind Site Plan.jpg
(Via Lower Manhattan Development Corp.)


Missing is the jeweled ring that Libeskind put in the middleground that was supposed to be a museum, but we all know what happened to that. The new renderings don’t even bother showing the shack that Snohetta is designing in that space, nor Frank Gehry’s performing arts center, which is just as well, because no one has money to build it.

Sir Norman Foster, the architect of 200 Greenwich Street (second edifice from left in the top sketch), even retained Libeskind’s idea of the sloping roof for his tower. The intent, Foster said at the press conference today, is to open up the building to the memorial below (to say nothing of the possibilities of sledding come winter).

Foster Top Compressed.jpg
(Credit: Foster and Partners)

Another point worth mentioning: while the downtown community board and planning gurus have been hounding developer Larry Silverstein to include enough ground-level retail to make the streets friendly to residents, his designers found a rather simple solution. These floor plates are large enough to accommodate retail stores along Church Street (opposite Century 21, say), while the lobbies for the office workers can go along more sedate Greenwich Street. Silverstein is putting 257,000 square feet of retail above ground, with another 171,000 square feet underneath. (And that’s leaving aside for now barber shops and newsstands at the PATH station.)

Wtiness Fumihiko Maki’s ground floor for 150 Greenwich Street, the fourth and lowest building, shown here with Church Street on the right and Greenwich Street on the left.

Maki Ground Floor Right-Sized.jpg
Credit: Maki, Zy and Partners

This is the view of the retail atrium along Church:

150 Greenwich Street_Church Atrium (credit Maki and Associates).jpg
(Credit: Maki, Zy and Partners)

… and the office lobby along Greenwich.

150 Greenwich St_ Office Lobby (credit Maki and Associates).jpg
(Credit: Maki and Associates)

-Matthew Schuerman