The thunderstorm had just cleared over Manhattan on Monday morning as the topping out of 4 World Trade Center was about to get underway. Turning down Maiden Lane from Broadway, the 977-foot tower, looming over the space of the small street, glistened even more than usual, freshly polished by the rain.Even against a backdrop of dark clouds, the building, designed by Japanese Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki, blends in with the sky in a soothing way that almost makes the 72-story structure disappear. It is much lighter—and, in the estimation of The Observer, quite a bit nicer—than its big brother, also rising, across the 16-acre site.
“Welcome to the first tower that will open for business here at the World Trade Center site,” Janno Lieber, right-hand man to Larry Silverstein at ground zero, boomed into a microphone from the podium. It was the only note of competition throughout the festivities, even though everyone knew the smaller tower, while started three years later, had beaten its sibling to the top by at least a few days. Read More