The Observer, along with the rest of the city, has eagerly, anxiously been awaiting the deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street, the dark monolith nearly destroyed on 9/11 that has haunted the site ever since. There have been construction delays a dozen times over, as well as a deadly fire. Despite the grand progress made last year on the World Trade Center site–the planting of trees, gushing water, reaching halfway, setting stones–until the former Deutsche Bank Building was gone, it would be impossible to forget all the intransigence and acrimony that held up progress at the site for so long.
Well, that day has almost arrived. The Associated Press had a story earlier this week about how deconstruction had reached the two-story mark, and now The Times reports that 130 Liberty Street is down to one floor and should be totally demolished within the next month. The latter report has a fascinating passage about the high-tech construction work:
The end of 130 Liberty Street is now in sight. The “roof” of the remaining structure is what was the floor slab of the second floor. There may not be much of that by the time you read this post. The concrete was being steadily broken up Tuesday morning by a remote-controlled demolition robot known by its trade name, Brokk. (Shades of “This Island Earth.”)
Steel beams were being cut apart from supporting columns with acetylene torches, then lifted away by crane. Soon, what little framework remains will be dismantled with a powerful mechanical shears. “It cuts steel like butter,” said Rick Livingston, the project manager for the corporation.
Gone are the days of the humble jackhammer and wrecking ball.