- The Washington Times - Friday, December 19, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) — A new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site slopes gracefully into a spire rising 1,776 feet, echoing the Statue of Liberty, images released yesterday show.

The new plan — which comes after months of contentious negotiations between designers Daniel Libeskind and David Childs — retains many elements of Mr. Libeskind’s original plan but appears to smooth out its most angular elements.

At a news conference to unveil the design, Mr. Childs said the tower must be “simple and pure in its form, a memorable form that will reclaim the resilience and the spirit of our democracy.”

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 Mr. Bloomberg, who appeared with the architects and Gov. George E. Pataki to unveil the new design.

The cost is estimated at $1.5 billion, said Charles Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the public agency that owns the site.

Mr. Gargano said the Port Authority, once headquartered in the World Trade Center, plans to occupy one-third of the building’s office space. The governor’s Manhattan offices will also be located in the tower.

The plan follows the original, asymmetrical structure proposed by Mr. Libeskind, who was originally tapped as the architect to remake ground zero by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency charged with redevelopment.

But Mr. Childs, who was appointed by leaseholder Larry Silverstein, succeeded in including a lattice structure filled with energy-generating windmills at the top of the building.

Mr. Silverstein has promised to build one new skyscraper at the site each year after the expected completion of the Freedom Tower in 2009, finishing the five-building complex in 2013.

Malaysia’s 1,483-foot Petronas Twin Towers complex is currently the tallest building in the world. The 110-story World Trade Center towers were 1,350 feet high.

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