- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) A complex of angular buildings and a 1,776-foot spire designed by architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the plan for the World Trade Center site yesterday, the Associated Press has learned.
Mr. Libeskind's design beat the THINK team's "World Cultural Center" plan, which envisioned two 1,665-foot latticework towers straddling the footprints of the original towers.
The new building is planned to be taller than the trade center towers, which stood briefly in 1973-74 as the world's tallest at 1,350 feet before completion of Chicago's Sears Tower. Mr. Libeskind's tower also would surpass Malaysia's 1,483-foot Petronas Twin Towers, now the tallest buildings in the world.
The choice was made by a panel with representatives of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the governor and the mayor.
The committee met briefly yesterday afternoon and chose the plan favored by Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, according to a source close to the process.
LMDC Chairman John Whitehead telephoned Mr. Libeskind with the news, the source said, telling the architect that his "vision has brought hope and inspiration to a city still recovering from a terrible tragedy."
Mr. Libeskind told the chairman that being selected is "a life-changing experience," the source said.
Nine proposals for redeveloping the trade center site, where nearly 2,800 people were killed on September 11, 2001, were revealed Dec. 18.
The design competition began after an initial set of plans, released in July, was derided as boring and overstuffed with office space.
Redevelopment officials were scheduled to announce the decision publicly today.
After the two plans were chosen as finalists earlier this month, both teams of architects were asked to revise their designs to make them more easily realized.
Mr. Libeskind, whose original design called for a memorial at the trade center foundation 70 feet below ground, reportedly changed that to 30 feet, allowing for infrastructure and transportation underneath.
The LMDC was created by Mr. Pataki and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani after September 11 to oversee rebuilding of the trade center site and downtown Manhattan. The Port Authority owns the site.


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